Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

'Riders sweep Cougars

Division II District Volleyball

By Gary R. Rasberry

Erika Angstmann had 25 kills and 14 digs to lead St. Marys to the Division II di. . .

LEIPSIC - It was fairly smooth sailing for the St. Marys volleyball team in their opening match of the Division II district volleyball tournament.
The Roughriders cruised through the first two sets against Van Wert 25-18 and 25-16 and then had to play catch-up in the final set before ultimately sweeping the match with a 26-24 win.
The result puts St. Marys (17-7) into Saturday night's district championship match against WBL rival Defiance. The Bulldogs lost their opening set to Wauseon 25-20 before coming back to take the final three sets 26-24, 25-12, 29-27. The Roughriders won the league meeting between the two in three sets at the end of September.
"We know (Laura) Schrag is their number one hitter," St. Marys coach Monica VanderHorst said, regarding a scouting report on Defiance. "(Morgan) Porter is also a nice hitter, but she also has a nice jump serve with big top spin. We'll have to work on all aspects of our game."
The Roughriders got out to a strong start in the opening set thanks to a pair of kills from Erika Angstmann and two aces from Natalie Kuenning to make it 4-0 before the Cougars could notch a point. St. Marys did not trail in the set, as Erika Angstmann or sister Ally provided kills all set long to keep the Cougars at bay.
The second match was a near carbon copy of the first. The Cougars cut the deficit to 5-3 early, but after a kill by Erika Angstmann to get the serve back for St. Marys, Shania Taylor served up three straight points to push it to 9-3. Erika Angstmann added an ace and had 10 kills in the set to put the Roughriders in the driver's seat.
"We had good Monday and Tuesday practices," VanderHorst said. "We were definitely stressing the blocking and getting more talk from the girls. We just need to stay aggressive at the net."
Van Wert, which had avenged an earlier loss to Celina on Saturday in the sectional final, didn't back down in the third set, taking a 6-4 lead early before St. Marys made its move with three straight points. Ally Angstmann's kills gave the Roughriders the lead. The teams stayed close until Kuenning went back to serve and came up with four straight service points to put St. Marys in the lead, 16-10. The Cougars' Peyton Fleming responded with five straight points to tie things at 17-all before Erika Angstmann got the kill for the sideout.
The teams traded points until Erika Angstmann scored a block to give St. Marys match point at 24-22, but a Roughrider hitting error gave back the serve to Van Wert and then another 'Rider miscue tied things up at 24-all. Erika Angstmann scored the kill to make it 25-24 and Kuenning followed up with an service winner that Van Wert could not handle to close out the match.
"Once you get to tournament, anything can happen," VanderHorst said. "Especially when you're voted the number one seed. We have the bullseye on the back. We just to have to come out and perform. The kids are excited because this is the farthest they've advanced in a long time."
Erika Angstmann had a big night for the Roughriders, recording 25 kills, 20 digs and four blocks. Ally Angstmann added 13 kills and 16 digs. Kuenning had two aces and 41 assists.
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