|Volleyball digs for a cure|
It was Diggin’ for a Cure Breast Cancer Awareness night for the West Liberty Comets volleyball team Sept. 12. The Comets faced Wilton and won in three sets, 25-10, 25-14, 25-11.
In the first set, the Comets used strong serving and a balanced attack with kills from Kristi Feldman, Kennedi Simon, Marissa Kelly, and Kathy Kaalberg, to keep the Beavers off balance and out of system.
The Comets jumped out to a 5-0 lead before an error gave the Beavers a point. West Liberty dominated the entire set, helped by 11 Wilton errors, including a kill attempt that went out of bounds for the final point giving the Comets the 25-10 win.
Wilton Head Coach Brenda Grunder said, “I think West Liberty’s obviously a good team, an experienced team. Our goal is every time out we want to grow. We want to improve. We are a work in progress, and I think any team should be a work in progress.”
In the second set, Sydney Warson got a block and a kill, and Kaalberg got a kill for a 3-0 West Liberty lead. A Wilton kill, a West Liberty net violation, and an ace contributed to a one-point lead by the Beavers at 4-3. A net serve tied the set at four. The teams traded points with additional ties at five, six, and seven before a double hit was called on Wilton to give West Liberty a one-point edge. The Comets outscored the Beavers 18-7 in the rest of the set. Molly Kelly served 9-9 with an ace in the win.
In set three, the Beavers enjoyed a 1-0 lead, but a net serve tied it and an ace by Grace Jedlicka gave West Liberty the lead which was not relinquished. Kills by Molly Kelly, K. Simon, and Warson along with a block by K. Simon stretched the Comets’ lead to 8-1. Despite some errors, West Liberty continued to roll. The Comets scored the final eight points on a Wilton serving error, a Wilton attack error, a kill by K. Simon on the line, another Wilton error, two kills by Warson, and another ace by Jedlicka for a 25-11 score.
Freshman setter Cassedi Simon had a great night with 16 assists. “Cassedi did a phenomenal job of finding her hitters tonight and really connecting with her hitters and making sure she was putting them in position to make them look good,” West Liberty Head Coach Melissa Brockway said. “That’s the great thing about having a freshman setter - the learning curve is so high. She has so much experience coming in already, and she just soaks everything up like a sponge. She gets better with every single practice and every single match.”
The Comets looked sharp against the Beavers, improving in just a couple of days over their match against Regina Sept. 10. The Comets beat the Regals in three sets.
“I thought we were really connecting well tonight,” Brockway said. “All systems were go. We were in system so much of the time. As a group, we looked much tighter than we did on Monday, so it’s nice to see that improvement.
“It’s nice to have a quick turnaround - a match that goes pretty well, then you get in practice and you work out the kinks - and then a match that goes very well.
“I was really proud of them for generating their own momentum throughout the match and really being in control of the tone of the gym at all times.”
In this Diggin’ for the Cure game, West Liberty fans had an opportunity to donate either a flat amount or a per-dig amount toward breast cancer awareness. The Comets had 44 digs against the Beavers, a season-high, with 16 digs by Molly Kelly, 10 by Marissa Kelly, eight by Jedlicka, five by Maddie Simon, two by C. Simon, and one each by Kaalberg, Hayley Simon, and K. Simon.