‘Jills Pick Up Steam Heading Into Mason-Dixon Tournament
The senior-heavy Valley Lumberjills haven’t had the volleyball season they hoped for, but they are beginning to show improvement that has been learned from experience so far this year.
On Oct. 5, they hosted a tri-match with Bishop Donahue and Notre Dame.
In the opening match against Bishop, the ‘Jills took a commanding lead to open the set before finally putting the Lady Bishops away 25-18.
In the second set, the ‘Jills again took a lead, just to see it vanish, losing 20-25. In the third and deciding set the ‘Jills gave away countless points with their serves. Ultimately, they succumbed 13-25.
Olivia Brisendine paced the Lumberjills with a team-high 14 points, that included five service aces. Tiffany Hayes netted13 points, inluding three aces, while Brittany Kuhens contributed 10 markers.
Other Lumberjills contributing included Leah ‘Bam-Bam’ Morris with nine points and three service aces, while Alyson Ashcraft tallied seven points. Cassie Ueltschy netted seven markers and Carla Mason tallied two points for the home team.
Ashcraft and Ueltschy each blocked a shot, while Morris paced the ‘Jills with five digs. Brisendine added four digs, while Kuhens and Hayes each supplied three. Ashcraft and Ueltschy added two and Mason one dig.
Hayes led the way with nine spikes, while Ueltschy added eight, including five for kills. Morris had five spikes, while Ashcraft and Mason each provided three.
Ashley Staley served up 11 assists, while Ashcraft provided 10 to lead in that category. Hayes followed with eight, Mason had three, while Heather Quinn chipped in two and Ueltschy one.
In the second match against Notre Dame, the girls applied what they had learned and defeated Notre Dame 25-10 and 25-12 in straight sets. Twelve different girls tallied points.
Kaitlyn Midcap came off the bench to provide a spark that the ‘Jills sorely needed with a game-high eight points that included five service aces. Brisendine, Ueltschy and Jessie Ashcraft each netted six markers, while Hayes tallied five points.
The rest of the scoring came from Brittany Sivert, Brooke Staley, Ali Haught, Justine Miller, Alyson Ashcraft, Quinn, Mason and Morris.
On Oct. 6, the ‘Jills took on the Lady Pilots at RIchard Potts Gymnasium in Hannibal. The Pilots, winless on the season, beat the ‘Jills in three straight, hard-fought, 29-27, 25-21 and 25-18.
Hayes paced Valley with 12 points and 12 spikes, while Mason added 10 points and 10 spikes. Bresidine tallied 11 points and three digs, while Ueltschy contributed nine points and five spikes. Morris and Alyson Ashcraft evenly split a dozen points. Ashcraft also added 25 sets and Morris drilled 10 spikes. Jesse Ashcraft scored two points, while Kuhens added four digs and Ashley Staley contributed 18 sets for Valley.
The ‘Jills traveled to Morgantown Oct. 7 where they took Trinity to five matches to settle the winner. After winning set one 25-19, the ‘Jills lost set the next two sets, 15-25 and 21-25, before beating Trinity 25-18 in the fourth set to set up the fifth and deciding set. It was a set that would be won by whichever team made the fewest mistakes. Sadly, it was Trinity that proved to be the winner, 15-10. The ‘Jills ended up giving Trinity 16 points with service errors.
Five Lumberjills scored in double figures. Hayes led the way with a game-high 22 points that included four service aces. She also added 22 assists, 30 spikes, seven digs and three blocked shots, in one of her finest matches of the year, Ueltschy scored 20 points, including one ace. She had 10 spikes and 21 assists to go along with five digs.
Both Mason and Brisendine tallied 17 markers, including four service aces. Brisendine added 17 assists, while Mason added 16.
Alyson Ashcraft tallied 13 points and had a team-high 35 sets, including a dozen assists. Morris scored three points and 11 spikes, while Ashley Staley added 20 sets. Jesse Ashcraft tallied three points and had four assists, while Kuhens had eight digs and two spikes.
In Clarksburg Oct. 5 against Notre Dame, Morris tallied 24 points, including 12 service aces and eight spikes to lead the Lumberjills to a three set match, 25-7, 25-15 and 25-23.
Ueltschy and Mason combined for 26 points, five aces, 17 spikes and a pair of digs.
Brisendine tallied nine points, Alyson Ashcraft contributed eight points and Hayes six points in the victory. Hayes also added a dozen spikes, four of which were kills.
After losing to the Lady Pilots earlier in the season, the Lumberjills were looking for redemption Oct. 4 in Pine Grove.
After winning the first set, 25-23 in a nail-biter, the hosts would turn around and drop a 20-25 decision in the second set before squeaking by in the third set in overtime 28-26. But, the pesky Pilots had other intentions and smothered the ‘Jills with a 7-25 victory to send the match to the fifth and deciding set.
Three of the four previous sets were very close and the deciding set was, too. The set see-sawed back with neither team giving an inch. But, in the end, it was the homestanding Lumberjills who would prevail, 15-13.
All six Valley starters scored in double figures, with Morris leading the way with 19 points, five service aces, 22 spikes and six digs. Hayes followed with 15 points, 30 spikes and five digs, while Mason netted 15 points, 12 spikes and blocked four shots at the net.
Other key contributors were Ueltschy with 13 points, 12 spikes and five digs; Alyson Ashcraft, 13 points, including three service aces, 45 sets and three kills; Jesse Ashcraft tallied 12 points, including an ace; and Midcap finished the ‘Jills scoring with eight points that included a pair of nasty service aces.
For the Pilots, Brittany Connors would lead the way with a game-high 24 points. She would add four assists, two aces, seven kills and two digs. Annie Turner tallied 20 points, 25 assists, nine kills, two blocked shots and four digs.
The duo of Torey Potts and Bri Cook combined for 28 points, four aces, 17 kills, 10 blocks and three digs.
Hannah Jones and Leslie Young each tallied six points for the PIlots, while Dakota Earley added five points. Young ponied eight kills and five blocks.