September 4th, 2019

DeBeer dominant in win at Sacred Heart

Block_screenshot 2018-10-06 at 2

Paul Najjar

Senior Writer

DeBeer dominant in win at Sacred Heart
SHA sophomore Tess Schrenger serves against Assumption; cover: AHS senior Anna DeBeer soars to put down one of her 18 kills in the match

Assumption seniors Anna DeBeer and Rylee Rader led the Rockets through a straight-set victory on the road over rival Sacred Heart Wednesday night 25-17, 25-21, 25-17.

And though the scores tilted their way, getting to that result was anything but easy for the visiting squad.

Beyond DeBeer’s hitting, she finished with a match-high 18 kills and added two stuff blocks, and Rader’s towering presence in the middle, the Rockets are a young, inexperienced squad. It showed early on this night, as it does in every rivalry game for first-timers.

“We had to have a few meetings (during timeouts) to figure out who should be getting the ball in certain situations,” Assumption head coach Ron Kordes said. “We shouldn’t be having those meetings, but we’ll learn from it. Our serving has to be better than it was tonight, but Sacred Heart was ready and kept clawing back at us. They kept us from establishing any momentum and a few times we brought ourselves down.

“It’s the first of September, we have a lot of players and a lot of them haven’t been in this environment. It’s only natural to make those mistakes the first time through it, but they’ll learn from it.”

Tied at 12 in the opening game, Rader stuffed consecutive SHA attacks, crushed a quick set and then let DeBeer finish off the Valkyries with three of her seven kills in the set to go up 1-0.

“The early season has been challenging as the coaches are looking to see who is doing best on the floor with what we are trying to do,” DeBeer said of the adjustments she and Rader have had to make through the first three weeks of the season. “It’s all about our chemistry. We have a big team and we want to get everyone involved and lift everyone up as a team.”

The Valkyries took an 11-9 lead in game two, but then the inexperience started to show. SHA gave away four straight points on errors and the Rockets scored three more to take a 16-11 lead. The home side battled to close the lead to one at 20-19 only to have two big DeBeer kills help close out the set.

“We’re young, but we’re a good team and sometimes you just have to grow a little and make great plays,” Sacred Heart head coach Brett Versen said. “You have to step up to that challenge a little more and do more for your teammates. If you’re going to beat great teams, you have to play like that consistently and we’re learning how to do that.

“It’s a big stage and there’s a lot of pressure on these kids. We are a good team and we have to believe that. Sometimes we feel surprised (at making plays) or get in our own heads sometimes and feel shocked that we’re in a game. Once everyone gets on the same page and believing that we’re good and playing that way, then we’ll see the results.”

Both squads are dealing with an influx of young talent. Assumption (6-0) has DeBeer (Louisville commit) and Rader (Ohio State commit) and their experience of playing major roles in winning back-to-back state titles to offset those newcomers. Not to mention leading the team last year in going 43-0 and earning the nation’s No. 1 ranking. Sacred Heart (9-3) looks to senior middle blocker Kristen Clemons (Belmont commit) to provide leadership and a menacing net presence.

But tonight, DeBeer and Rader got the better of the play.

“I’ve played alongside Kristen for five years (club team) so we all know how strong, athletic and quick she is,” DeBeer said. “She played a great first set and we talked about and relayed to the underclassmen where she was at all times. We wanted to focus on her blocking and get her guessing on defense and then be aware of her variety of shots. She’s so good on the attack. But, after we settled down on defense, we were able to slow her down and limit her offense.”

Sacred Heart sophomore Tess Schrenger led the Valkyries with nine kills and two aces. Clemons recorded six kills, four in the first set, a block and two aces.

Rader added seven kills and four stuff blocks while freshman outside hitter Sydney Helmers and junior middle blocker Caroline Cermack each scored three kills and a block. The Rockets will need more from these two and others to continue their 63-match win streak which dates back to Sep. 30, 2017.

Assumption will play in the Avon, IN tournament this weekend and then face state No. 2 Mercy on the road Monday night. Next Thursday they’ll host the nation’s No. 1-ranked Mater Dei team from Santa Ana, CA before heading into the Louisville Invitational Tournament.

Sacred Heart will face Floyd Central (Ind) and Waggener next week before the LIVT. 


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