Volleyball is Looking for Revenge

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Volleyball is Looking for Revenge

Reed Finseth, Sports Editor

 The 2019 St. Andrew’s volleyball team has returned this year with a vengeance, opening the season 7-3 and remaining undefeated in district play. After a tough loss to Our Lady Academy last year the team has rallied together and have their eyes set on a state championship this year. Sophomore volleyball player Sarah Sullivan believes the loss last year in the state semifinals has united the team.

     “I think we all have a goal and I think the motivation is definitely there,” Sullivan said. “We are all still salty about last year and I think we’re a lot closer.”

     With the rise of talent and leadership from different members of the team such as Alix Ebner, Miley Ray, Madison Jones, Anna Jordan Hendrix, Caroline Croft, and Sarah Sullivan, it looks as if the team is ready to face Our Lady Academy in the state championship this year. 

     Sullivan has stepped up her game to an exceptional level this year. With over 119 kills and an average of 3.2 kills per set this season, she is the most efficient high volume hitter on the team. 

     “Sarah is our leader, even though she is just a sophomore,” Head coach of the SA volleyball team Meaghan Denney said. “She is the one that Caroline Croft is always going to set if she needs an outlet. And really, we kind of feed around her. If she is good, the whole team is good.”

     Even though she is just a sophomore, Sarah Sullivan has definitely made a name for herself on the team. However, she could not work as effectively if junior Caroline Croft did not play such a key role in the offense. 

     “Caroline Croft is our setter, which is kind of like the quarterback of the team,” Denney said. “As long as she is on, setting good balls, that’s good for our hitters.” 

     The offensive side of the court runs through Croft. With over 206 assists in just 13 games Croft plays a vital role in setting up her teammates. As the only setter on the team, all of the pressure is on her, but she says having only one setter helps the team.

     “I get to see who is playing well,” Croft said. “The main decision-making is based on the hitters and how they are playing. Sarah Sullivan is usually my go-to because she is pretty consistent in how she hits, but it is better for the team if I switch up who I set and include the middle and right side. I also feel like, since I am the only setter, it is easier for the hitters because they don’t have to adjust to a different type of setting.” 

     Consistency is a huge benefit to have when on the court and between Sullivan and Croft the SA volleyball team has a surplus on both the offensive and defensive end. 

     “Miley Ray is a big blocker for us,” Denney said. “So if she gets on a role there it has a huge impact.”

     Ray has had a huge impact on the defensive end this season, leading the team with 0.8 blocks per game. Along with these star players, the entire team is motivated to win a state championship this year.

     “We lost to [Our Lady Academy] in the semifinals last year,” Denney said. “We lost the first set. Won the second set and had huge leads in the third and fourth sets and kind of blew it. That’s all in the back of their minds and that’s our main competition. And the way the new bracket came out . . . we would not face them until the state championship.”

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