Aberdeen Christian has experienced players at every position this season and that experience was evident Thursday night.
With the Knights playing a different rotation because of an injury, one of those seniors stepped up to help fuel a 25-14, 25-12, 25-14 non-conference volleyball sweep over Iroquois-Doland at Aberdeen Christian Gym.
Ruth Hulscher found herself back in the front row and Christian never missed a beat.
“I played last year, but I haven’t been really practicing front row, so it was definitely different,” Hulscher said, “but I don’t think I did too bad.”
Hulscher also did major damage from her accustomed back row spot, serving up three aces in a row at one stage and playing solid defense.
“She passed amazingly tonight. Her serving this year has been outstanding and she did it again tonight, and then she got some swings for us, too,” said Christian coach Maggie Jett. “She has been working so hard just at focusing on minimizing her errors. Tonight she was flawless. She did great.”
Hulscher said a key for her serving is to try to do the same thing each time she steps to the service line.
“It’s really just sort of a routine. I’m very particular,” Hulscher said. “It’s always like the deep breath to calm myself down and like mentally prepare for it, then trying to figure out where might be a good spot, and then just following through with it the best you can.”
The Knights were never in trouble in any set. The biggest threat came at 12-12 in the third before the hosts scored 13 of the last 15 points to secure the sweep.
Jett said while there is still work to be done, she was pleased with the effort.
“There were a few things that I wish we would have cleaned up a little bit, some of our errors, but I think they did a better job tonight trying to run our offense,” Jett said. “We passed pretty well tonight so we had an opportunity to get all of our players involved and set some stuff we haven’t done, yet.”
Mary Fites and Mallory Miller each had eight kills to lead a balanced attack. Hulscher and Grace Kaiser each finished with three aces. Kaylee Block had 21 set assists and Joy Rohrbach led the team in digs.
“I love that about our team. They just come together and I know I can count on all of them,” Hulscher said. “Everybody has their own strengths. It’s nice.”
The Knights are off to a 3-1 start to begin the season. They play at Langford Area on Tuesday.
Jett just wants the squad to continue to improve as the year goes on.
“I just keep telling the girls let’s do what we do and do it well and see what we can improve upon in each game,” Jett said. “Let’s just keep growing and hopefully we peak towards the end of the season.”
Serving: Iroquois-Doland (Lily Blue 3 aces, Harley Nelson 2 aces); Aberdeen Christian 59-68 15 aces (Grace Kaiser 15-15 3 aces, Ruth Hulscher 14-14 3 aces).
Hitting: Iroquois-Doland (Katie Dubro 6 kills, Nelson 3 kills); Aberdeen Christian 53-68 29 kills (Mary Fites 19-22 8 kills, Mallory Miller 10-13 8 kills).
Setting: Iroquois-Doland (Nelson 17 assists, Beca Bich 15 assists); Aberdeen Christian (Kaylee Block 61-61 21 assists, Joy Rohrbach 8-8 2 assists).
Digs: Iroquois-Doland (Kaylee Morehead 12, Dubro 10); Aberdeen Christian 35 (Rohrbach 10, Block 6).
Blocks: Aberdeen Christian 3 solos 1 assist (M. Miller 2 solos, Kaiser 1 solo 1 assist).
Records: Iroquois-Doland 0-3; Aberdeen Christian 3-1.
JV: Aberdeen Christian 2-0.
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