October 28th, 2018

Rockets complete perfect Volleyball season

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer

Rockets complete perfect Volleyball season

 While the target on their backs grew larger game after game, the Assumption volleyball team staved off all challengers, and on Sunday completed their third undefeated season defeating Mercy 25-17, 22-25, 25-15 and 25-13 in the KHSAA state volleyball championship.

The Rockets (43-0) have now won 21 of the past 27 state titles and claimed the No. 1 national ranking in five of those.   

Callie Martin may not get all the big hype as some of her fellow seniors, but her quiet contributions paid huge dividends. The opposite hitter finished the match at the Most Valuable Player thanks to her nine kills, five blocks and 12 digs.

“This feeling is so unreal and I wouldn’t want to win this with any other team,” said Martin who has committed to Wright State. “I love this moment, and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished to win state and national championships.”

“I am so blessed and there is no way I could do this without them,” said Martin as she clutched her MVP award.

Assumption coach Ron Kordes was all smiles after the win.

“This team went all across the country and took on everyone and beat everything that’s out there so I’d have to think this team in No. 1 in the nation,” Kordes said. “It’s a lot of pressure on these girls and I do all I can to take it off them. We try not to talk about things and play it down, but it’s such a composed team.”

Mercy grabbed the early advantage in set one and led 9-8 when Assumption went on a 10-4 run that propelled them to the win in the opening set.

The Rockets seemed to carry that momentum into the second set and built a 16-11 lead behind four kills from Callie Martin. Undeterred Mercy roared back with five straight points on three straight kills from Emma Schurfranz and tied the game at 16-16.

The teams traded points until Mercy regained the lead at 20-19 and Jayme Scott and Allison Holloway pounded their way at the net to a 25-22 win in the second set.

“We knew going into the game we had to bring all of our game and I think in the end they brought more of their game than we did,” Schurfranz said. “That second set we were down and I didn’t want to lose this in three so I wanted to make sure myself that wasn’t going to happen and I did and it was a huge momentum boost.”

Jaguar’s coach Matt Thomerson said his team did start to wear down after Assumption started running off point after point.

“You executed the game plan well in the second set played aggressive and did what we asked so let’s stay on that,” Thomerson told his team. “Assumption served the ball well and I just think that we didn’t execute as well as we could have after that. We put up a good fight I just wish we could have been a little more disciplined going into that third set it could have changed the outcome of the fourth.”

Mercy came out loose and pumped in the third set, but Assumption clearly had their game face and their powerful hitter Anna DeBeer was about to get cranking after a quiet start.

The University of Louisville commit sent six crushing kills at Mercy and the Jaguars had no answer, while Alexa Hendricks came off the bench contributing 10 huge digs in the match.

“There was so much pressure on us and the way we played tonight shows why we are state and national champions,” DeBeer said. “We know the target is always on our backs, but it’s up to us individually to take that away and focus on us and the game.”

Maryann O’Toole also was pivotal in the Rockets rebounding in set three and finished the match with nine kills.

Rylee Rader was unrelenting at the net as well for Assumption as the Ohio State commit swatted and blocked nearly everything that came her way. She paced the Rockets with 16 kills and a pair of blocks.

“I don’t think anyone realizes how hard this was to accomplish because they had nothing to lose and we had everything not having lost yet,” Rader said. “There were a lot of nerves to start and pressure, and I think the second set there was a little let down. We just wanted the momentum back and we grabbed it back, and when we hit 20 in the fourth set I said let’s go get this one and finish it.”

Kordes knew exactly what his team  need to do and knew Martin would play a big role.

“We wanted to really take advantage of our height in this match and knew we had to stop their big hitters,” Kordes said. “You don’t see all the things that Callie does with the serving, hitting digging and hitting balls off opponents hands - yet it is so vital.”

Mercy had one last gasp trying to start set four on a high knowing they had twice taken Assumption to five sets this season. They built a 4-3 advantage, but that was the last lead as Martin dug ball after ball off the ground to set up her big hitters.

Assumption could taste victory leading 19-12 and DeBeer was ready to take the finishing task on her shoulders.

The University of Louisville commit pounded down four kills, including the game winner to complete the magical season. She finished the match with 16 kills, eight digs and one block and was named to the all-tournament team.

“We’ve worked so hard all year and we wanted to end it the way we did and take that thousand pound weight off our shoulders,” DeBeer said. “I wanted to be the one to end it for us and so thankful that I could.”

Schurfranz finished with 19 kills while fellow senior Jayme Scott led Mercy with 20 kills and six digs.

“We were a team that likes to come back, but toward the end we got too far down to come back,” said Schurfranz who has committed to Kennesaw State. “This was my best year ever at Mercy and I knew going in we’d be young with not a lot of height like usual. My team impressed me with what we accomplished, and I just want to say thank you to all of them.”



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