BEA downs Montgomery-Lonsdale
Coach Donna Naw-rocki kept encouraging her volleyball team as they struggled early in their sub-section match against the Montgomery-Lonsdale Redbirds on Thursday night.
The Bucs won the first game, dropped the second but rebounded to claim games three and four and advance to the next round of the playoffs. The scores were 25-22, 19-25, 25-19, and 25-13.
The opening game saw the visiting Redbirds maintain an early lead. The Bucs came back and forged a five point advantage at 12-7. The Redbirds came back to tie the game at 15 all before a side out gave the Bucs the 16-15 lead and the serve.
Sydney Ristau’s ace serve followed by a Jenny Smith kill made it 18-15. A Smith tip and an Ashley Olson stuff increased the lead to 20-15. The Redbirds sent a kill shot out of bounds on the next point giving the Bucs their biggest lead of the game at 21-15.
Montgomery-Lonsdale stormed back to forge a 22-22 tie. Olson’s tip at the net stopped the momentum and gave the Bucs a 23-22 lead. With Krista Hassing serving, Smith connected for a kill to put the Bucs within one point of victory. The Bucs secured the win on the next point when the Redbirds were guilty of four hits.
Game two was all Redbirds. The Bucs scored the opening point but the Redbirds scored the next eight to take an 8-1 lead. BEA tried to mount a comeback and pulled to within three points at 14-11 but could never get over the hump. The Redbirds seemed to have the momentum and control of the match. Everything seemed to be going their way. It seemed every kill found the floor and they were returning every shot the Bucs sent across the net.
Montgomery-Lonsdale took an early 3-1 lead in game three and expanded it to 10-6 aided by a couple of net serves by the Bucs.
Although they were struggling, the Bucs were fighting and battling trying to stay close and looking for a spark. A kill by Smith made the score 11-8 in favor of the Redbirds and sent Katie Krieger to the service line.
Ristau spanked one home with authority, the Bucs trailed 11-9. A Krieger ace made it 11-10. The Redbirds sent a back row kill long and the game was tied up.
The Redbirds, like everyone in the gym, could sense the momentum changing and called time out. It didn’t work. Two more service aces by Krieger and a return into the net by the Redbirds gave the Bucs a 14-11 lead.
Now that they had the lead the Bucs weren’t going to give it up. The Bucs blocking became more effective, their kill shots were finding the floor and they were getting to balls on defense. Now it was their opponents who were struggling and the Bucs won game three 25-19.
There was no let up in game four. Olson set the tone early with a service ace. An ace block by Ristau, a stuff by Krieger and another front line block gave the Bucs a 4-1 lead.
The Bucs held an 8-3 lead when Krieger went to the service line. There were no aces this time but with Olson setting, Anne Marie Hoyt, Hassing, and Ristau were putting away the kill shots and blocking the Redbirds at the net. By the time Krieger was done serving, the Bucs had increased their lead to 15-4.
Hoyt provided the other big highlight of the final game as she served three consecutive aces to give the Bucs a 22-8 lead. The Redbirds were in too deep a hole to recover. Olson sealed the victory with a tip at the net to make the final score 25-13.
“It took awhile for us to get going,” says Bucs’ coach Nawrocki. “Our blockers started getting their timing down on their blocks. I was just very proud of the girls tonight.”
Krieger ended the night 21-22 serving for 15 points and three aces. Ristau was 21-21 with 14 points and one ace. Hoyt added five points with four aces on 11 of 11 serving.
Olson had 26 set assists with Smith getting 11 kills and Ristau 10. Olson also had six kills.
Smith came up with 11 digs followed by Hoyt with nine.
Hassing and Krieger each had five ace blocks while Ristau finished with three ace blocks.
The Bucs advance to the next round of the sub-section playoffs. They travel to LeSueur to take on No.1-seed LeSueur-Henderson on Monday night.