The SJA volleyball team got the season off to a great start with a three games to none victory over Luverne last Thursday.
The matches were not close as the Saints won 25-13, 25-11 and 25-16. The Saints also demonstrated a capability to spread the offensive and defensive tasks around. Many of the players got kills, serves, digs and the other statistical categories.
For the first game of the year the Saints started four juniors Liz Reckow, Katy Hedlund, Emily Bottem and Brenda Cervantes. Sophomores Julia Beckius and Allison Brandts also took the floor for the first serve.
Junior Lindzey Hanson rotated in almost as another starter. Lindzey usually replaced Katy when Katy was rotating to the back row. Lindzey served instead of Katy and provided a defensive presence along the back line.
Of Lindzey’s play Head Coach Steve Chapin said, “I liked the defensive play of Lindzey Hanson in the back row. She brought a calming presence to the floor when she was out there.”
On the team’s overall play the coach said, “ It was a fun night. I really thought some of the uncertain things about this team became a lot more clear tonight.
“The serve receive group of Cervantes, Beckius, Brandts, and Reckow really looked pretty good. We still can improve, but it was a great start.”
Julia Beckius got seven of the team’s 21 kills. Liz Reckow had four and Hedlund, Bottem and Cervantes had three each.
As will most likely be the case for the next two years, Emily was the assist leader. She had 21 of the team’s 22 assists.
On the serving part of the game Coach Chapin said, “I really liked the aggressive serving with the 20 aces we had.”
Several of the Saints had great success serving the ball. Overall the team had a serving percentage of .844. Emily was 13 for 13, Lindzey served at .917 and Allison and Julia served at .889. Allison and Julia had six aces each. Liz and Lindzey had three aces each. The Saints had 20 total aces.
Besides serving well, the Saints displayed an ability to play long points if necessary. The Saints were able to keep the ball alive and usually won those points.
In the digs category, Julia and Lindzey had five each and Allison had four. The team had a total of 25 digs.
Katy Hedlund had two solo blocks and a block assist. Emily and Allison each had four block assists.
Coach Chapin said, “It was nice to see a net presence with several blocks and that forced a real change to the offense of the Cardinals.”
Page 2 of 2 - Julia Beckius led the Saints in the number of successful service receptions with eight and a percentage of .889. Allison was perfect with seven for seven. Brenda Cervantes had four receptions, Liz Reckow had three and Kaleigh Evans had two receptions.
Summing up the first game of the season the head coach said, “Overall it was a great team effort.
“Lots of things to work on, but it was a fun way to start the season.”