DELPHOS — The Kalida volleyball team moved to 12-2 on the 2012 season on the heels of a 25-21, 25-17, 25-15 Saturday afternoon at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.
Topping the victorious LadyCats was a balanced attack of senior Kayla Siefker (11 kills, 18 digs), senior Bailey Dangler (5 kills, 9 digs, 10 assists), senior Amy Smith (5 kills, 9 digs), senior Andrea Bellman (5 kills, 3 stuffs) and freshman Kylie Osterhage (5 kills). Junior Alexis Decker had 22 assists.
For the Lady Blue Jays (4-10), senior Katrina Etzkorn totaled 18 digs, along with senior Christie Carder (9 digs, 8 assists), senior Emily Horstman (9 digs, 3 kills), senior Heather Vogt (5 kills, 5 stuffs), senior Lauren Utrup (3 kills, 3 blocks) and senior Bailie Hulihan (3 kills).
“Kalida is a good team; they run a quick offense and get you out of your rhythm there and with the serve and they have a lot of weapons,” Jays coach Kellie Sterling said. “At the same time, they dig up everything; they are such a scrappy defensive team and we couldn’t get many hits to drop.”
Kalida first-year coach Sherry Luebrecht figures the versatility of her team is key.
“We don’t necessarily do it by design but the talent is there. The girls know that if one or two hitters are off, we have others that pick up the slack,” she asserted. “I can trust my setters to go to the girls with the hot hand. If they are all on, we are very difficult to deal with. We haven’t gotten to that point yet but we’re working on it. We’re getting better as a team.”
The LadyCats got off quickly in set 1, taking advantage of some early hitting errors by the Jays (18 for the match; 4 service errors, 4 aces) and a couple of kills to lead 6-1 and force a Sterling timeout. That seemed to do the trick for the home team as they began to get more and more into the match. Behind Vogt and Horstman, plus some of Kalida’s own hitting errors (18 for the match; 9 aces, 6 service errors), to take the lead at 18-17 on an ace by junior Kaylie Youngpeter, forcing Luebrecht to call a halt. That also did the trick, breaking the hosts’ momentum. From then on, it was a sprint to the finish, with the Maroon and White winning that battle. A tip on a joust over the net won by Smith on set point gave the visitors a 1-0 edge.
The visitors got off quickly again in the second set and never looked back. With either Decker or Dangler using their myriad weapons at the net and the Jays unable to get consistent kills against the LadyCat defense, Kalida had leads of 5-1, 9-2 and 18-6 on a hitting error. The Jays could not recover, though they didn’t go away quietly. The closest they could get was 23-17 on a hit off the block by sophomore Bekah Fischer. However, a bomb-kill by Osterhage and an ace by Siefker put the guests in the driver’s seat.
Once more in set 3, Kalida got off quickly, building a 9-1 edge (despite a Sterling timeout) on LadyCat hitting and serving prowess. They built that lead up to 18-7 at one point on a kill by junior Madison Burgei. Back came the Jays with a 7-1 spurt to get within 19-14 on an ace by Hulihan and causing another Luebrecht timeout. That was as close as the Jays could get as the visitors finished the match with a 6-1 run, including a hitting error on match point, to end the sweep.
“I tell my girls to be aggressive but to also keep the ball in play, which is a Catch-22. What I hope they do is aggressively go for the holes in the defense,” Sterling added. “Right now, it’s a matter of confidence. We haven’t had a lot of wins this year and over the years and it’s hard to maintain confidence when you aren’t seeing the results of your hard work. We talk about maintaining a positive attitude and concentrate on what we’re doing well.”
Luebrecht has no such issues.
“We’ve had a lot of success over the years here and we have six seniors. We have six seniors; they have won a lot of matches and helps them be great leaders,” she added. “We did and block very well; that’s just a matter of communicating well and working hard, being quick to the ball.”
In junior varsity action, Kalida outlasted St. John’s (6-4) 21-25, 25-21, 25-19.
St. John’s moved to 4-2 in freshmen action with a 2-set sweep.
St. John’s visits Lincolnview 6 p.m. (JV start) today, while Kalida visits Miller City 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (no JV match).