The volleyball team was another Saints squad that had a busy, busy week. The girls hosted St. Peter, then hit the road and five teams in a tournament on Saturday and finished up playing at Waseca on Tuesday. The Saints finished 4-3 and Emily Bottem recorded her 1,000 career set assist in her first tournament game on Saturday.
Saints power past Waseca
The Saints took the long trip over to Waseca on Tuesday, but the return trip must have seemed shorter, as the girls blew the Bluejays away winning 3-0. The Saints won the games 25-14, 25-12 and 25-23.
Strong servering was one of the deciding factors in the win. The team had a successful serve percent of .915. Brenda Cervantes was perfect going 14 for 14 and let the team with three aces. Julia Beckius was almost perfect going 24-25 on serves. Liz Reckow had two aces.
Julia had 10 kills and Liz had nine kills. As......always Emily Bottem led the team in set assists with 23.
As she has on many other games, Julia led the team with 21 service receptions and digs with 13. Lindzey Hanson also had a strong game defensively with 11 receptions and 12 digs.
Saints go 3-2 in WEM tourney
On Saturday, the Saints played in a tournament at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (WEM) High.
The Saints drew host WEM in the first round and fell 0-2. In this tourney the best two out of three games won the match. In the first game, Emily Bottem got her 1,000 career assist as a Saint.
Saints Volleyball Head Coach Steve Chapin said, "It is great to see a student athlete like Emily reach this milestone. Emily is a great leader, a hard worker, a team first player, and a kid that wants to win so bad.
"Thinking where she was a few years ago with total ACL surgery to where she is today is amazing. Add to that she is an officer in her junior class, a great role model to younger athletes in our district, and a very respected captain of this team and program.
"This is an accomplishment you want to have for kids like Emily. And I hope she has a chance to get to 2,000 which will be realistic by the end of her senior year."
Needing 11 assists to reach 1,000, Emily got 23 in the two games against WEM. The Saints were tied at 20 in both games against WEM, but fell 22-25 and 21-25.
Julia Beckius led in kills and service receptions. Brenda Cervantes led in successful serves with nine and served at 1.000 percent. Allison Brandts had three aces. Liz Reckow topped the Saints with eight digs.
SJA came back to beat St. Clair 2-0 by the scores of 25-23 and 26-24. Leaders were:
Page 2 of 3 - Kills, Reckow with 9; assists Bottem with 19; serves Bottem 9-9; aces, Reckow and Lindzey Hanson with two each; service receptions, Hanson with 14; and digs Beckius with 13.
Coach Chapin said, "Against St. Clair, we did a great job of playing after 20. Serving focus from all players and even down a game point to be able to win the game was huge."
The Saints next drew Norwood-Young America and fell 11-25 and 10-25. The stats line was subdued in these two losses. The only Saints player who reached double digits in a stats category was Beckius with 12 service receptions.
The Saints then drew Grand Meadow and beat that team 2-0. The scores were 25-18 and 25-23. The team's stats line picked up in this game.
Beckius had eight kills; Bottem had 23 assists; Lindzey Hanson was a sterling 14-14 serves and led the team with two aces and Reckow had nine digs.
Talking about the Grand Meadow game, the Head Coach said, "This was a nice match for us and we played really nice defense throughout.
"We have moved Lindzey Hanson to the libero role and she did a nice job receiving serve all day long. Liz Reckow also had a great day defensively."
That win earned the Saints a rematch with St. Claire and SJA capped off the tournament with a 2-1 win. The scores were 26-24, 14-25, and the Saints were the first team to 15 in the decisive third game winning 15-10.
Beckius had eight kills; Bottem had 15 assists; Hanson was 11-12 on serves with four aces and also led with 16 service receptions and Reckow had 11 digs.
St. Peter 3-0 over SJA
The Saints hosted St. Peter last Thursday, and St. Peter came away with a 3-0 win. St. Peter was in control most of the way winning 25-5, 25-15 and 25-17.
Both teams are athletic and have talented players. The problem SJA had playing St. Peter was they are tall. St. Peter has players that are 6'3", 6'2" and 6'.
SJA's tallest player is 5'9". Time and time again the St.Peter front line would block SJA's kill attempts. St. Peter's players could sky so high over the net they could block SJA's attempts downward.
Our Saints had their moments but St. Peter was athletic enough to play SJA very long points and more often than not get a kill shot for the point. It wasn't all height for St. Peter, as 5'3" St. Peter player Brooklyn Braun was a defensive demon with 15 digs and a wicked serve that produced three aces.
Coach Chapin summarized the matches, "We have had a tough time with the bigger teams so far, so we are still learning on ways to beat them.
Page 3 of 3 - "As the match progressed, we made progress figuring out ways to have success. In game three I thought our middle players Katy Hedlund and Allison Brandts did a nice job of trying to run a quick attack so that Julia and Liz on the outside had some more success hitting against only one large blocker instead of two.
"We also lost focus on the serve which is uncharacteristic for us. We have to work on the mental part of that in practice and also in matches."
Julia Beckius had six kills but her 28 attempts is an indication of the blocking power of St. Peter. Emily had 13 assists; Brenda Cervantes was 9-10 on serves; Julia also led in receptions with 17 and digs with 11.
The best game for the girls in black and red was the third game. SJA led 15-14, but St. Peter had more weapons and pulled away for the 25-17 win.