Central volleyball earns back-to-back wins

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Central’s win over MFL MarMac featured a notable performance from Brooklyn Amsden, who went 19-20 serving with six aces and also earned four kills. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Reese Berns smacks the ball over the net in the 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs.

Katie Royer sets the ball in the match versus MFL MarMac.

Tessa Sylvester makes a kill attempt against the Bulldogs.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


In the words of Central volleyball coach Kelly Erickson, last week was “nothing short of fantastic,” as the Warriors secured two conference victories over MFL MarMac and Clayton Ridge. 


“It’s evident that the hard work, dedication and teamwork we’ve been putting in during practices and previous games have paid off. The girls displayed exceptional skills and a strong bond on the court, making for some truly exciting volleyball,” Erickson said. 


The winning started on Sept. 11 against the Bulldogs. The Warriors “stormed through the first game,” Erickson said, taking the first set 25-3. The momentum carried over into the following sets, as the Warriors won set two 25-15 and set three by the same score, sweeping the match 3-0. 


“The victory was a testament to our determination and synchronized play. It was a fantastic way to kick off the week, and it set the tone for what was to come,” Erickson said. 


The game featured notable performances from Brooklyn Amsden, who went 19-20 serving with six aces, and Mackayla Vlazny, who was 16-16 serving with four aces and eight digs to help on defense. 


Tori Sylvester led the team with nine digs, followed by Lizzie Royer with eight. Royer also had a team-high eight assists and five kills, while Amsden totaled four kills, followed by Reese Berns and Tori Sylvester with three each. Central combined for 18 assists and 21 kills. 


In other statistics, the Warrior defense amassed 35 digs and finished with a total of 16 aces and a serve efficiency of 91.8 percent. 


On Sept. 14, Central hit the road to play the Eagles, in what Erickson called “an intense and hard fought battle.” 


The Warriors opened the match with a 25-18 first set victory, then lost the second 25-17. They returned the favor in set three, winning 25-15, but the back-and-forth continued as the Eagles took the fourth set 25-17. The Warriors held firm in the fifth and deciding frame, securing the set 15-10 and winning the match 3-2. 


“The girls never lost their spirit, even when facing tough competition. After a grueling five sets, we emerged victorious, showcasing our unwavering resilience and teamwork. It was a defining moment for our team, and it highlighted our ability to come together and triumph when it mattered most,” Erickson said. 


Lizzie Royer led the team with 13 kills, while also compiling 21 digs, one solo block, three block assists and 16 assists. Amsden had another great game at the net with 10 kills and went 20-21 serving with four aces. Tori Sylvester chipped in with seven kills on offense and 21 digs on defense, while Vlazny finished with 31 digs and also served 20-22 with one ace. Oakley Armstrong had four kills, 15 digs and four assists, and Berns helped out with four kills. Alivia Wiley came off the bench with three kills, and Katie Royer added 15 assists on offense and one dig defensively. 


Central totaled 38 assists and 44 kills on offense, as well as 11 blocks and 98 digs on defense, and finished with a serve efficiency of 87.9 percent.


“This past week was a tremendous success for our volleyball team. With each game and practice, we continue to iron out any wrinkles and grow stronger as a unit. The two conference wins were a well-deserved reward for our dedication and determination,” Erickson said. 


Central looked to carry the momentum into this week’s games, starting with a home match-up versus West Central (2-10) on Sept. 18. The Warriors will then play in the Decorah Tournament on Sept. 23.

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