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Central volleyball celebrates homecoming week with a 4-2 record

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Tori Sylvester jumps for the ball at the net versus West Central. The Warriors won the match in straight sets

Brooklyn Amsden tips the ball over the net in the West Central match.

By Willis Patenaude 

 

It was a busy week for the Warriors volleyball program, as they played six games during homecoming week, going 4-2 across those matches with action on the court kicking off on Monday night with a match against the West Central Blue Devils. 

The Warriors won in straight sets by the scores of 25-18, 25-20, and 25-12. Lizzie Royer and Tori Sylvester led the offense, as Lizzie compiled 12 kills and 15 assists, Katie Royer had 14 assist and Tori finished with 11 kills, while Brooklyn Amsden contributed nine kills for the match. On the defensive front, Oakley Armstrong led the charge with an impressive 15 digs, followed by Mackayla Vlazny with 13 digs, and a trio of Warriors, including Lizzie, Sylvester, and Katie finished with nine digs each. Sylvester and teammate Alivia Wiley also had one block each. 

As for serving, the Warriors finished with 12 aces, led by Lizzie and Amsden with three apiece and Sylvester and Katie each had two. 

“Overall, this win was a testament to the fantastic team effort and set the tone for the week ahead,” coach Kelly Erickson said. 

The Warriors returned to the gym for the Decorah Tournament on Saturday morning, with coach Erickson acknowledging the started a bit “sluggish.” The tournament got underway for Central against the Jesup We started the day against a tough Jesup J-Hawks, a match in which they lost in two sets by the score of 21-14, and 21-13.  

During the match, the Warriors had difficulties serving, resulting in a total of seven serving errors over the course of two sets, while also struggling with hitting, leading to 18 attacking errors. On the plus side, Lizzie Tori performed on both offense and defense, with Lizzie leading the way with 10 kills and 15 digs, while Tori finished with eight kills and 10 digs. Additionally, both Katie and Lizzie contributed 11 assists each, which coach Erickson said was a showcase of “their teamwork and determination on the court.”  

The next opponent for the Warriors was the formidable Riceville Wildcats team. Central kicked off the match with a strong start but narrowly lost the first set in a hard-fought battle, losing 24-22. The team rallied in the second set, clinching a victory with a score of 21-19, but a challenging third set proved to be the difference, with the Warriors falling short, losing 15-10.  

“A notable improvement came in our serving, where we only missed two serves throughout the match. Nevertheless, we grappled with 11 attack errors and secured a total of 13 kills,” coach Erickson said. 

Leading the offense was Lizzie with four kills, followed closely by Tori and Amsden with three kills each.  On the defensive front, Lizzie and Macklayla Vlazny finished with seven digs each, while teammate Katie had six digs and Armstrong contributed five digs, “collectively bolstering our defense and demonstrating a strong team effort,” coach Erickson said.

“Despite the outcome, our team exhibited tenacity and sportsmanship, highlighting areas for growth and improvement in the game ahead,” coach Erickson added. 

In the next match, the Warriors took on the conference foe, the Postville Pirates, taking the victory in straight sets with scores of 21-15 and 21-19.  

“Although we didn’t perform at our peak, we managed to come together and achieve the desired outcome. Challenges persisted in our serving and hitting, with a total of seven serves missed and 18 attacking errors recorded over the course of the two sets. Despite these struggles, Lizzie and Tori emerged as the driving forces on both offense and defense,” coach Erickson said. 

Lizzie led the way with an impressive 10 kills and 15 digs, setting the tone for the offensive and defensive efforts, while Tori also made a significant impact with eight kills and 10 digs. 

The next challenge came from Kingsland, but the Warriors went on to secure the victory with the scores of 21-13 and 21-19 and showed a significant improvement in serving performance, with only two serves missed during the match. Vlazny stood out for her excellent serving, achieving 11/12 with two aces. 

Additionally Lizzie remained consistent in serving, going a perfect 10/10, and amassed four kills, setting the tone for the Warrior attacks. Tori and Amsden each contributed three kills, showcasing “a well-rounded offensive effort,” coach Erickson said.  On the defensive end, Vlazny and Lizzie stood out, with both tallying seven digs.

The Warriors wrapped up their day in a competitive battle against the MFL-Mar-Mac Bulldog. The hard-fought match extended to three sets, before the Warriors ultimately pulled out the victory with scores of 22-20, 18-21, and 17-15.  

“While we grappled with challenges in serving and hitting, missing seven serves and tallying 18 attack errors, our team’s resilience prevailed,” coach Erickson said.   

In the serving department, Lizzie went 10/11 with one ace, while Tori was 11/11 serving with one ace. Lizzie also added 10 kills and 15 digs, and Tori made an impact with eight kills and 10 digs.  

“The teamwork between Katie and Lizzie, each with 11 assists, were pivotal in executing our offensive strategies.  This hard-fought victory against a formidable opponent showcased our determination and ability to adapt, capping off a day of intense competition,” coach Erickson said. 

“Looking ahead, we have a big week with two conference matche. These matches provide us valuable opportunities to further cement our position in the conference. To achieve success, it’s imperative that we continue working diligently on improving our serving accuracy and enhancing our hitting efficiency as well as our communication. These fundamental aspects of our game will be crucial in securing victories and maintaining our competitive edge,” coach Erickson said.

The Warriors return to conference play with a two game set this week, starting with a rematch versus the Postville Pirates (0-11) on Tuesday, September 26th at 5:00pm. The Warriors will then go on the road for a match against the Kee Hawks (2-9) on Thursday, September 28th with the match scheduled to start at 7:30pm. 

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