SOUTH WAYNE – League-leading Barneveld held onto the top spot in the Six Rivers East volleyball standings thanks to a 3-1 victory over Black Hawk, but the Warriors made the visiting Golden Eagles work very hard to earn it.
The Lady Warriors (0-3 in SRE, 1-6 overall) rallied from a set one loss to tie the match at a game apiece with a 25-19 decision in set two, then played neck-and-neck with the Eagles (3-0) in set three before falling by a similar score of 25-19.
The Purple-and-Gold put the hosts away with a 25-7 thumping in set four to take the match held at BHHS on Thursday, Sept. 6.
“We started off a little slow. We came alive in game two, but we just didn’t hold the momentum,” said Black Hawk head coach Rachel Wolff. “You just can’t make costly mistakes against a team that’s number one in the conference right now.”
Barneveld came up with a 25-20 win in set one to take an early lead in the match, however– with junior middle hitter Jen Wellnitz leading the way at the net– the hosts stormed back in set two to deadlock the match at 1-1.
Back-to-back block kills by Wellnitz gave the Warriors a quick 11-6 advantage in set two, and the junior added a pair of spike kills, another block kill and three straight service points to up the lead to 21-9.
The Eagles cut the gap to 23-17 with an 8-2 scoring run, but a spike kill by Mikayla Sigafus brought the Warriors to game point and a missed serve by the Eagles gave the hosts the 25-19 win.
“We do some things well, but it’s hard for us to finish or maintain momentum long enough. There’s no time clock in volleyball. You got to get to that twenty-fifth point. That’s been tough for us,” explained Wolff about the team’s rough start this season.
Despite losing set two, Barneveld gained some confidence with their rally and it grew in set three when they outlasted the Warriors in a tight back-and-forth affair to grab a 2-1 lead.
Smelling the blood in the water, the Eagles got off to a fast start in set four, opening a quick 12-2 advantage en route to the match-clinching 25-7 decision.
“We let other teams get a bunch of (scoring) runs on us. It’s like we can’t stop them from doing it, not only from their own great plays, but also from our mistakes,” Wolff noted. “We have all the skills. We just have to put all the skills together. We have to eliminate our mental and physical mistakes. That’s something we’re going to work on.”
Wellnitz tallied 10 kills and six blocks to lead the Warriors, and Sigafus chipped in with six kills and three blocks. Kelly Neuenschwander dished out seven assists and Alexis Warrell handed out six, while Abby Schiferl registered three service aces for Black Hawk.
Sam Evans led the Eagles with 14 kills. Rachel Slaney added six blocks and McKenzie Sporle had four aces, while Danielle Straubhaar distributed 23 assists for the guests.
Black Hawk has SRE matches at Monticello on Thursday, Sept. 13, and at Juda on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Barneveld….. 25 19 25 25
Black Hawk... 20 25 19 7
Team Results: Lancaster 5-0, Potosi 5-1, Lancaster Reserves 3-2, Viroqua 3-3, Highland 3-3, Black Hawk 1-5, Kickapoo 0-6.
At LHS, Saturday, Sept. 8