St. Croix Central volleyball sharpens its skills against Middle Border Conference co-championsThe best way for the St. Croix Central volleyball team to get ready for the Dunn-St. Croix Conference season is to play strong competition.
The best way for the St. Croix Central volleyball team to get ready for the Dunn-St. Croix Conference season is to play strong competition.
The Panthers certainly did that last week, facing last year’s Middle Border Conference co-champions, Baldwin-Woodville and Somerset, in a pair of dual matches.
In both matches the Panthers played well, but especially in last Tuesday’s clash with B-W, one of Central’s most heated rivalries. This match was another that added to the luster of the rivalry, with the battle lasting the maximum five games. B-W took the opening game 25-21, before Central put together a big push to win the next two games 25-20, 25-18. The fourth game was one both teams wanted badly and it was reflected in the play, with B-W eventually winning 25-21. The Blackhawks won the deciding fifth game 15-7.
“They were pretty down about losing,” said Central co-coach Laura Lee, who coaches the team along with Jenna Foley. “They really wanted to beat them. We were proud of them. They really battled.”
The Panthers put up another good fight at Somerset on Thursday, but lost in three close games. Somerset won the first two games by 25-21 scores, with the third game decided at 27-25.
Lee said the Panthers struggled to play at the pace that Somerset set. With Somerset returning nearly every Panther hit, it pushed the Panthers to play at Somerset’s intensity level. Somerset was also putting up a double block against Central’s hitters, something the Panthers hadn’t seen so far this season.
Lee said the Panther blockers are still working on their timing, as they are struggling to get their block attempts in place in time to get hands on the ball. She said the Panthers also still need to improve their passing, which would help the offense run more smoothly.
This week the Panthers began D-SC play with a match against Elmwood on Tuesday. The conference schedule continues with a match at Glenwood City on Thursday and a home match with Mondovi next Tuesday.