|LadyCats end net regular season with sweep of Jeffcats|
|Friday, October 11, 2013 12:14 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
Alas for the home Wildcats, Kalida’s visiting LadyCats proved to be rude guests as they downed the Jeffcats 25-19, 25-22, 25-21.
Playing those home finales were Lindsay Deuel, Katie Goergens, Gabby Pimpas, Kamie Pulford, Rileigh Stockwell and Kenidi Ulm.
“We were already worked up before we came into the gym tonight; it’s emotional for them and me. They have worked hard all these years,” Jefferson coach Joy DeVelvis explained. “They came out and played well as a group. We moved much better tonight as a team, which is a positive going into the tournament. We were much better defensively.”
Neither team had much of a lead for the first half of the first set as it was 11-10, LadyCats (10-11), after Goergens (4 kills, 4 digs) put down a spike off the Kalida block. However, Kalida senior Madison Burgei (3 kills, 4 blocks), returning from injury, put down a kill and gave the serve to senior Lexi Decker (2 aces, 13 assists). Mixing in an ace, a kill and a stuff by sophomore Allison Recker (6 kills3 total blocks) and a pair of hitting errors, the visitors built a 17-10 lead. Later on, a 4-0 run put the visitors up 21-12 on a stuff by Recker. The Red and White tried to rally and did get within 24-19 on a hitting error, forcing Kalida coach Kristen Stechschulte to call timeout. However, Burgei put down a bomb on set point.
“We had some good runs each set. That was the key for us,” Stechschulte explained. “We’ve had injuries to three starters and they are now all back. It takes time to work them back into the lineup and get on the same page, which is one reason for inconsistency.”
The other two returning from the shelf are junior Morgan Niese (10 kills, 4 blocks) and junior Caitlin Stechschulte.
Kalida slowly built a 10-4 lead in the first set, keyed by another 4-0 run, forcing DeVelvis to call time. It didn’t do a lot of good as a 5-0 spurt — with freshman Carlee Miller (2 aces, 5 kills) serving four of the points — put the guests up 15-5 on a spike off the defense by senior Elizabeth Turnwald. Back came the hosts behind Goergens and Deuel (4 kills) as they battled within 23-22 on a kill on an overpass by junior Desteni Lear (3 kills, 4 digs). However, the Lady Wildcats could not dig up a hit by Turnwald and then a hitting error on set point put the visitors in command.
The LadyCats had the better of the proceedings in the third set, scooting to a 9-5 lead on an ace by junior Nicole Recker (9 assists). Back came the Wildcats, mainly as the LadyCats started to see both hitting and serving errors creep into their game, to take a 10-9 lead on a Deuel pounder. The lead went back and forth until 14-14 — on a Kalida player in the net; a kill by Allison Recker gave the LadyCats the lead for good. They slowly erected a 24-17 edge on a miscue but the Jeffcats were not ready to go home. A kill by Deuel and her two aces around a spike by Goergens put the hosts within 24-21 and forced Stechschulte to call time. A hit off the block and defense by junior Alexis Vorst sealed the sweep.
“We fell behind and had to play catchup every set. That’s difficult to do consistently,” DeVelvis added. “We seemed to show more of a sense of urgency and more intensity when we were battling back but we just couldn’t quite get over that hump.”
Jefferson opens Division III tourney play Wednesday at Lincolnview against Parkway starting at 7:30 p.m.
Kalida takes on Wayne Trace in Division IV action Thursday at Ottoville, with a 7:30 p.m. start.
“it’s a good time to be getting everybody back; we’ve had the chance to at least get them some match action before we head into the tournament,” Coach Stechschulte added. “This was Morgan’s third match back and she played particularly well.”
Jefferson junior Brooke Culp was 19-of-19-serving (1 ace) and added 11 assists. Junior Kennedy Hoffman led the guests with eight digs.
Kalida’s junior varsity (10-5) outlasted Jefferson (7-11) 25-10, 18-25, 25-22.