September 12th, 2017

Valkyries sweep Pres

Block_0 conor revell

Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Valkyries sweep Pres
photo by Conor Revell

Presentation’s volleyball team came into their match with Sacred Heart hoping to stun the high school volleyball world.

But that didn’t happen as visiting Sacred Heart swept the Toppers 26-24, 25-18, 25-22 Tuesday night.

“I think our girls did a great job of coming together after the LVIT,” Sacred Heart assistant coach Kaitlyn James said. “We really wanted the girls to fight through adversity. They did a great job of that and we were ready to play tonight.”

Sacred Heart (8-5) played without head coach Brett Versen who was at the hospital with his wife welcoming their first child.

As for Pres (11-6), perhaps this weekend’s All “A” Classic Statewide Tournament was on their mind rather than the game.

“We needed to quicken the pace,” Pres head coach Tom Sawyer said. “We still aren’t running our offense as fast as some of these other teams. When we pass kind of high, some of these teams that have blocking abilities are able to hit the blocks. We need to quicken up our offense. We have to honor their hitters and swing at the ball but at the same time we need to be smart.

The Valkyries ruled at the net and delivered 31 kills.

“We didn’t come out ready to play,” Pres outside hitter Anna Lynch said. “We didn’t pick up on their fast offense. When we started adjusted to it, we would let up again. We weren’t following our game plan and hitting open spots. We let this one slip through our fingers.”

Kristen Clemons led the Valkyries quick offense with eight kills, Olivia Fogo added seven kills, and Cat Schmid and Abigail Westenhofer added six kills apiece.

Westenhofer also dished out 13 assists.

“Yesterday we talked at practice about the Mercy game,” Westenhofer said. “We talked about how Mercy came back with the exact same score tonight and Pres almost did it too. We decided that we weren’t going to let that happen again. We were going to finish. That’s what we need to do and capitalize when we have an opportunity.”

Emily Arnold recorded 16 assists too for Sacred Heart.

“I came in expecting Westenhofer to set all the way around,” Sawyer said. “I saw them play Notre Dame and Mercy. When they threw in Arnold, I keyed in on my right side there and that meant Westenhofer was going to be swinging on the right and sure enough she did. We had to honor her when she usually plays setter.”

The Valkyries jumped out to a 10-4 lead in game one and led 19-10 at one point before the Toppers responded with a furious rally and tied it at 23. 

“We came out flat, our girls weren’t playing,” Sawyer said. “There was no enthusiasm. Over the weekend, we played with enthusiasm against Notre Dame and we did that against Assumption earlier this season. We reminded them that there’s no energy and that we expected them to pick it up. They did and we took it into overtime there at the end.”

With the score tied at 24, the Valkyries iced the game by scoring the final two points.

“We’ve been working a lot on plays,” James said. “We have wanted to be more aggressive serving the ball. That’s our No. 1 thing. We want to let every opponent know that we want to be the aggressor. We let off the gas a little bit too early in the first set.”  

Game two was competitive as it was tied at 13 before the Valkyries closed the set with a 12-5 run.

“We have been in a funk lately,” Pres libero Jenna Story said. “We start off really slow, get on a run, and then we let up again. We were really fired up for this game but Sacred Heart is a really good team and we made too many mistakes. It was a bummer that they beat us this easily.”

Pres played well during the first part of the third game too and had the match tied at 15 before the Valkyries claimed the lead and never relinquished it.

“It was all mental,” Clemons said. “After the first set we came together and talked. We had to work together and do the little things.”


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