SULLY — Lynnville-Sully volleyball coach Jayme Deal is in her fourth season guiding the Hawks. And she’s finally got a senior class she has been with since their freshmen season.
The Hawks looked like a well-oiled machine on Sept. 3 against Baxter. An experienced roster full of juniors and seniors handed the Bolts a three-game sweep in front of their home fans, defeating Baxter 25-14, 25-15, 25-23.
“This group of girls have been playing together for a long time,” Deal said. “This is starting to look what we have been building the past few years. The girls work well together.”
On the flip side, Joe Morton is in his first season as Baxter’s head coach. His players are still trying to figure out new systems put into place. But the Bolts simply didn’t show up against the Hawks.
“It’s almost as if we didn’t know what we were doing and because of it we played timid and scared for whatever reason and we weren’t ready to play,” Morton said. “I took a light practice last night and this one is on me. I guess I didn’t work them hard enough.”
The Bolts (3-2) made a bunch of hitting errors, but the ones they were able to keep in play were often blocked or dug out by L-S players.
The Hawks (4-3) finished with 50 digs and 20 blocks in the win.
The Hawks’ win was the third straight over Baxter. L-S won the past two meetings in five sets. This time around, Deal didn’t call timeout until the third set.
Baxter led 4-0 out of the gate in the opening set, but L-S rallied to go up 15-7. Baxter had seven errors during that stretch, but Korinne Jansen also had a pair of kills and an ace.
Denali Conover collected a kill and an ace on back-to-back plays to put the Hawks up 21-11 and they coasted from there.
The Bolts led 3-1 in the second set, but again L-S came back to take a lead and never trailed after a Bolts’ error put the Hawks in front 5-4. Back-to-back kills by Jansen put L-S up 9-5 and Krystal Van Dyke collected consecutive blocks and a kill to push the lead to 16-7.
The Bolts’ deficit never got closer than six the rest of the way and L-S went up 2-0 in the match.
The third set was the most competitive. L-S got out of the gates faster in the final set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead. A kill and an ace by Sophie Meyer closed the Bolts’ deficit to 10-9, but the Hawks extended their lead after aces by Mallory Loftus and Cayler Noun Harder. L-S finished with 11 aces in the match.
Bekka Watt missed this weekend’s tournament for Baxter, but returned to the lineup on Sept. 3 and almost brought the Bolts back by herself.
Back-to-back kills by Watt made it 18-15 and then consecutive aces by Watt tied the set at 20-all. But L-S closed out the win and the sweep following a Baxter error, two service errors, an ace by Janelle Rozendaal and kills by Noun Harder and Jansen.
“We just played timid. The errors come with the way we played,” Morton said. “We weren’t near as aggressive at the service line as we normally are and that led them to good passes in system.
“We are just uncomfortable right now with our new system.”
Baxter was led by Amber Weltha with nine kills and five digs. Meyer tallied five kills and six digs, Watt collected four kills and two aces and Kaitlyn Headlee delivered 15 assists. Maddie Pierce contributed 11 digs. Abbey Shepley and Rachel Kenney both had three digs.
The Bolts were 48-of-49 in serves. Headlee was 11-for-11, Meyer was 10-for-10 and Sadie Meyer, Watt and Weltha were all 5-for-5.
Blue Devils in four sets
MARTENSDALE — Weltha put down 24 kills, Headlee delivered 28 assists and Pierce collected 16 digs during Baxter’s four-set win over Martensdale-St. Marys on Sept. 5.
The Bolts served up 15 aces during the 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-10 win.
Weltha also tallied seven digs and two aces, while Sophie Meyer finished with eight kills, eight digs and six aces. Meyer was 34-of-36 in serves. Weltha’s kill percentage was .380.
Pierce was 19-of-20 in serves and also had six aces. Weltha was 11-for-12 in serves and Headlee was 10-of-11.
Maggie Schabilion chipped in four kills, Hallee Rainsbarger put down three kills and Kenney finished with six digs.
Baxter (4-2) plays Don Bosco at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 12 in Gilbertville.