By Lenny Sementi
Seniors Jessie Martin and Kate Dean have been playing volleyball together for a long time and that experience on the floor is paying dividends this year. Martin runs the offense from her setter position and one of her favorite targets at the net is Dean. Martin found Dean for 17 kills this past week while racking up 40 assists in the three match week. They opened Easter week on Monday March 29 with a road win over Arcola, then dropped a pair the next two nights falling to a very good Altamont squad on Tuesday and Central Illinois Conference favorite St Teresa on Wednesday.
Martin served up nine assists in a two game sweep of the Purple Riders from Arcola in the volleyball version of the Cola Wars. Junior Kerri Pierce chipped in nine assists as well while Dean fueled an eight-point run in the first set and a six-point run in the second tallying nine kills when the dust settled on the 25-10, 26-24 victory over their visitors from the south moving to 4-3 on the year overall. Junior Amelia Bosch had three kills in the first skirmish and one in the second while senior Marissa Russo added three kills of her own to her season stat sheet.
Bosch did more damage at the service line posting 14 service points, including a match, season and career best nine aces as four players in the black gold fired up at least one, one-timer. Martin and Carlie Seip each had two aces and Pierce one. Hope Dietrich was tops in the backcourt finding her way to a match best six digs. Kendyl Ring and Reagan Wyrich weren’t far behind ending the night with four saves each.
One night later Altamont invaded Tuscola High School and left with the non-conference win, downing coach Lydia Miller’s team 19-25, 21-25. Both sets were back and forth affairs until Altamont posted late runs to secure the win. Dean and Martin connected ten times for kills in the contest as Martin delivered a match high 18 assists. Bosch was next up in the kill department with three, while Ring and senior classmate Laney Cummings each accounted for a pair. Ring was strong on the defensive side of the net putting nine digs into the scorebook. Dietrich, Tuscola’s libero and Wyrich also put nine digs in the book on the night.
Tuscola got back on the bus the next evening and once more traded points throughout the first two games but once more could not get past late runs by the Lady Bulldogs falling in two games 20-25, 19-25 moving to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in the CIC. Ring shined on defense with 15 saves and turned in a well-rounded performance overall donating three kills, one ace and eight service points to the cause. Dietrich covered the floor as well, finding her way to four digs while Martin and Pierce each notched three. Martin also fed the front row to the tune of 13 assists, sending seven sets Dean’s way ending in kills and three sets to the other side that Bosch pounded home for points.