Fast starts carry Somerset volleyball team to victoriesGive the Somerset volleyball team credit for showing up ready to play in both of their Middle Border Conference matches last week.
Give the Somerset volleyball team credit for showing up ready to play in both of their Middle Border Conference matches last week.
The Spartans improved to 3-0 in the MBC with wins over New Richmond and Amery last week.
In both matches, the Spartans were so efficient that they took their coaches by surprise. In last Tuesday’s win at New Richmond, the Spartans took a 10-2 lead in the opening game and ran with it, winning 25-12. They won the second game 25-21, but lost the third 25-18. Somerset finished off the match with a 25-19 win in Game 4.
The Spartans were even sharper in their opening game against Amery on Thursday. The Spartans didn’t even make it through a full rotation in the first game as they took apart the Warriors with surgical precision, 25-4. The Spartans had little trouble in the next two games, winning 25-16 and 25-13.
There is always plenty of excitement when the Spartans face New Richmond. Somerset coach Sarah Praschak was stunned with the precision the Spartans showed in the opening game.
“They played out of their minds in the first game,” Praschak said. “We seemed relaxed, we seemed confident.”
Even in the third game loss the Spartans started out with a 7-0 lead. The Spartans led 14-11 until the team’s serve reception imploded, with New Richmond reeling off 11 straight points to take charge of the game.
In both of last week’s wins, the Spartans ruled the play at the net. In the win at New Richmond, Sarah Northey, Natalie Broome and Sarah Krig combined for 12 solo blocks, with another 18 block assists. Against Amery, the trio produced 13 solo blocks, with Krig recording seven of them.
Krig seems to be gaining confidence in her hitting skills with each match. She scored 15 hit kills in both matches last week. Northey produced 13 kills against New Richmond and six more against Amery.
Serving is a portion of the Spartan attack that has become more and more of a strength. Against New Richmond, Markell Penman put 21 serves in play, with two aces. Megan Starry had 18 serves, Sami Martell 17 and Krig 12, including four aces.
The serving was even more accurate against Amery. The Spartans only missed one serve in the three games. Krig served 19 times, including four aces. Martell served 18 times and a third of them went for aces. Penman finished with 14 serves and Starry 11 serves, which included four aces.
This was also the Spartans’ best serve reception match, with just four errors.
Getting the quick win in the opening game against Amery gave the Spartan coaches a chance to get some of their younger players more extensive playing time in the final two matches of the night.
Praschak said one of the key components in Somerset’s strong play is the maturation of Martell as the team’s setter and floor leader.
“Sami’s always been a quiet leader. It’s nice to see her get fired up,” Praschak said.
The Spartans resume their MBC schedule this Thursday with a match at Durand. The Spartans will take part in the New Richmond Invitational tournament on Saturday. The Spartans play their final regular season home match next Tuesday, when their rivals from Osceola visit.