|Pirates power past Jefferson netters|
|Wednesday, October 09, 2013 12:16 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
Jefferson head volleyball coach Joy DeVelvis gave props to Bluffton’s crew Tuesday night after the Lady Pirates broomed away the host Lady Jeffcats 25-15, 25-13, 25-13 in Northwest Conference action.
The Pirates amassed 15 aces — six by Sami Fruchey and four by Paige Buroker — and a total of 38 kills, with only 11 hitting errors and three missed serves.
“They do a great job of serving with power and then placing it well. They put us on the defensive right away,” DeVelvis explained. “They are a powerful offensive team and they know how to hit hard and consistently. They just kept coming at us and that can get very frustrating to have the ball hit that hard at you for that long.”
After the Wildcats (7-14, 1-7 NWC) tallied the first three points (a kill by senior Katie Goergens (8 kills) and two by junior Desteni Lear (5 kills), the first of 15 hitting errors by the hosts gave the Pirates the start. With the likes of Buroker (15 kills) and Kayleigh Oberly (11 kills) finding the range, the visitors began to assert themselves. The Wildcats stood tied at 9-9 on an off-speed kill by senior Rileigh Stockwell (6 kills, 6 digs) but a Buroker off-speed putaway put Bluffton in the lead for good. After another Buroker kill later in the set, that gave Diane Basinger the serve at 13-10; with Buroker’s three kills, an ace by Basinger and a stuff from Kathryn Basinger, the lead improved to 18-10. The Wildcats tried to rally, getting within 21-15 on a push by junior Brooke Culp (15 assists; 7-of-7 serving, 1 ace; 3 kills). However, a kill by Fruchey preceded three straight hitting errors gave Bluffton a 1-set lead.
An ace by Olivia Hunt (3 aces, 35 assists) on the opening point of the second set put the Pirates in the lead for good. The Pirates used several small runs: 4-0, 4-0, 3-0 and 4-0; during the set to steadily take command. Their front line made things tough for the Wildcats both ways at the net: blocking and hitting; and a stuff on set point by Fruchey put Bluffton in complete control.
A Buroker kill on the first point of the third set once again gave Bluffton a lead and they built a 7-3 lead on a hit off the Jefferson block by Oberly. This time, the Red and White fought back, tying the score at 7-7 on a Culp ace. However, a kill by Oberly put Bluffton in the lead for good. After Stockwell put down a spike to get her team within 10-9, another Buroker kill put the serve in Fruchey’s capable hands. With four aces, a Buroker kill and a spike by Fruchey from the back row, that lead grew to 18-9. It was a matter of time from then on and an ace by libero Lauren Parkins finished it.
“It took us a while to adjust to their hitting and it makes it tough to dig those hits up. Once we did later on, we started to get some of those hits up,” DeVelvis added. “That’s a positive that we stayed in the match as best we could. Bluffton is just a very good team; you have to give them the credit for what they were doing versus what we weren’t doing.”
The Wildcats end the regular season at home Thursday versus Kalida.
In junior varsity action, the Pirates bested the Wildcats (7-9) 25-17, 27-25.