Starting on the right foot
“It’s all about finishing.”
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers lived up to that very expectation as the varsity volleyball season got underway this week, fulfilling a goal set before the year by head coach Donna Nawrocki and, more importantly, kicking off a non-conference schedule with back-to-back wins.
Outlasting Le Sueur-Henderson High School in their home opener on?Monday, Aug. 29, before sweeping Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial on the road the next day, the Buccaneers did their best impression of a team that knows how to close matches.
“They had some jitters in that first one,”?Nawrocki said, “but everyone was contributing as the night went on.”
In Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over LCWM, the maroon and gold proved resilient, eking out a 27-25 edge in the second set following a 25-17 win in the first. A 25-20 score in the evening’s final set sealed the victory for BEA, which less than 24 hours earlier had topped Le Sueur-Henderson for the first time since Nawrocki began coaching the Bucs.
Sofie Blair and Kaylor Jacobs headlined the BEA offense against LCWM, combining for 17 kills, while Samantha Barslou went 19-for-19 on serves with three aces and 13 points.
Alissa Norman chipped in with 30 set assists, while her sister, Lindsey, logged a trio of ace blocks. Blair and Barslou were also credited with 12 and 10 digs, respectively, in Tuesday’s action.
On Monday, despite a 25-16 Giant victory in the match’s first set, Le Sueur-Henderson fell victim to a powerful BEA finish.
A 25-17 advantage gave BEA the nod in the evening’s second set, while the Bucs claimed the final two sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-14, respectively.
Five unanswered points gave Le Sueur-Henderson the first victory of the night, and the visiting Giants nearly clawed their way back into part of the second set, logging four consecutive points to minimize a 24-13 BEA advantage.
But from that point on, the contest belonged to the Buccaneers. At one point in the third set, BEA held a 20-11 lead, while a 5-1 start in the final set catapulted the Bucs to their largest margin of victory of the evening.
Lindsey Norman led the Bucs with 10 kills against the Giants, and she also topped the digs category with 13 vs. Le Sueur. Alissa Norman, meanwhile, headlined the Bucs with 35 set assists on Monday.
Maddi Oelke gave the Bucs 13 points on 21 serves, recording two aces, while Alissa Norman, Lindsey Jacobs and Brittany Johnson combined to notch 18 more points on 30 serve attempts.
Rounding out the stat sheet for the Buccaneers against Le Sueur-Henderson were Barslou, who had nine kills, 11 digs and a pair of ace blocks; Blair, with six kills, 12 digs and an ace block; and Kaylor Jacobs, with five kills, 10 digs and an ace block.
Now 2-0?on the season, BEA’s varsity volleyball team will next host Fairmont on Thursday,?Sept. 8, at 7:15 p.m. in the BEA?High School gym. An invitational will follow at Luverne High School on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 9 a.m.