Week of: 9/25-10/1
Matches/Results: Def. Belle Plaine 25-22, 25-23, 25-21
Def. New Prague 25-18, 25-22, 25-13
Brief Commentary per Match:
Unfortunately, our team passing had us out-of-system and playing from behind in both of the first two sets against Belle Plaine. Combine that with 10 serve errors, and three heavy opponent hitters, and we had our work cut out for us to work our way back into the match. The second half of the match improved with better passing and more confident serving. We finally had BP out-of-system, which allowed our offense to get going. The most noticeable team stat of the night was our combined 21 blocks, a season high.
Strong serving, passing and blocking kick-started New Prague to an early 11-4 lead in set one. For some reason, we needed a slow start to pick up our motivation. Thanks to strong team hitting night (.345 one of the best of the season) and another quality blocking night, we turned the slow start into a positive 3-0 victory.
Individual Player Highlights:
Against Belle Plaine it was all about our outside hitters, Kari Monnens (13 kills) and Carlee Hoppe (17 kills ), who combine for an impressive .422 hitting %. Their offense sparked our slow-to-start first and second sets. Freshman middle blocker/rightside hitter, Kenzie Pieper had her best match of the year. Not only did she contribute 7 kills, but she was a force at the net with 4 blocks, and 10 block stops on the night. Claire Sames (7) and Rachel Rhinesmith (5) also had season high blocking nights.
Five players had highly efficient offensive numbers against New Prague on Thursday night (Hoppe .375%, Lemke .556, Bleess .667, Pieper .500, Monnens .357). These combined for one of our better hitting nights of the season. Kenzie Pieper led the kill category with 10 kills and just one error. Sophomore hitter, Kaylee Lemke, recently back to action after a first practice ankle fracture, had a breakout night with 6 kills on just 9 attempts. Probably the most important factor in turning around another slow start was the defensive pick-me-up from senior Libero, Alex Berger, who led the team with 12 digs on the night. New Prague’s hitters posed some unique challenges for our defense early in the match. A lot of off-speed and fluff hits made it difficult to get good touches. Alex took charge and got us going later in the first set.
Stat Leaders Per Match:
Vs. Belle Plaine (kills- Hoppe 17, Monnens 13, Sames 8, and Pieper 7; Assists –Rhinesmith 23, Holcombe 16; Blocks- Sames 7, Rhinesmith 5, Pieper 4, Hoppe 3; Digs- Berger 11, Monnens 7
Vs. New Prague (kills- Pieper 10, Hoppe 8, Monnens 6, Lemke 6; Assists- Holcombe 20, Rhinesmith 12; Blocks-Sames 3, Lemke, Rhinesmith and Koehn 2; Digs- Berger 12, Sames 10; Serve Aces – Holcombe 3
Cumulative Team Record and Stat Leaders:
Overall Record: 15-2
Missota Conference Record: 3-1
Kills: Claire Sames (171), Carlee Hoppe (141), Kari Monnens (83)
Assists: Maggie Holcombe (370)
Blocks: Sames (46), Kenzie Pieper (26), Carlee Hoppe (18), Koehn (16)
Aces: Alex Berger (16), Holcombe (13), Monnens (12), Hanna Leadstrom (10)
Digs: Berger (146), Hoppe (107), Sames (100), Maggie Holcombe (62), Monnens (62)
Athlete of the Week Nomination:
Junior outside hitter, Carlee Hoppe, had a strong week in two 3-0 wins over Belle Plaine and New Prague. She led the team with 25 kills and a .457 hitting percentage, and added 8 digs and 4 blocks. This was Carlee’s most efficient hitting week of the year to date.