WARNER – Warner set the tone early and never looked back on the way to a 25-13, 25-13, 25-19 Lake Region Conference volleyball sweep over Northwestern Thursday night.
The Monarchs bolted out to a 7-1 lead to start the match and played with a high-level intensity throughout the night.
“I just feel like I didn’t need to coach them. They wanted to win so bad tonight,” said Warner coach Kari Jung. “They just did it. I don’t know what got into them, but they were fun to watch tonight.”
The Wildcats battled back to within 11-8 in the opening set before Warner pulled away for the win. The hosts then started out the second set the same way as the first, this time leading 8-2 and were never threatened the remainder of the set.
“I think we started running some quicker routes and got some points that way,” Jung said. “That really helped our offense.”
The final set was tight before Warner pulled away from a 10-10 tie with four straight points and the margin never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
Kami Anderson was a force in the front and in the back. She finished with five kills and four ace serves.
“We played together as a team better than we ever have,” Anderson said.
The junior and her teammates were able to find open spots on the floor on the way to a team total 39 kills.
“Our coaches watch a lot of tape. They tell us where they’re going to be at so we can cut around them and where the open spots are going to be at,” Anderson said. “And then our teammates always like to talk to each other so we can kind of see the court when someone else is hitting, and we can tell them this is open and that spot is open.”
Meanwhile, Northwestern was unable to get going, playing without starter Mack Stoltenberg who recently broke her hand.
“We don’t really have a rhythm, yet. Mack Stoltenberg broke her arm, so we’ve had just a couple of practices trying to figure out how else we’re going to do things,” said Northwestern coach Nora Groft. “I really thought our young kids stepped up and did a good job tonight.”
In the end, Warner was a step quicker to the ball most the night and ended up recording the sweep.
“They’re more athletic than we are, so they’re going to get to balls quicker than we are,” Groft said. “We have to be smarter and be in the right spot. We’re still making adjustments.”
Jennifer Aman and Kyra Marcuson each had a dozen kills to lead Warner, which improved to 5-1 on the season.
“We’re really happy about how things went tonight,” Jung said.
Ella Haven finished with eight kills to top Northwestern, which slipped to 7-2 on the year.
Groft said she is looking forward to watching her team grow as the season progresses.
“We’re going to learn. We’re going to get better and hopefully, the end of October we’re going to get Mack back,” Groft said. “I feel good about where we’re going to be in November.”
Serving: Northwestern 42-47 4 aces (Brooklinn Halverson 8-9 2 aces, Payton Grandpre 8-8 1 ace, Ella Haven 7-8 1 ace); Warner 69-74 11 aces (Kami Anderson 15-15 4 aces, Ava Nilsson 8-8 2 aces, Courtney Bjorgaard 15-15 1 ace).
Hitting: Northwestern 71-78 20 kills (E. Haven 30-36 8 kills, Haiden Grandpre 9-10 5 kills, Ashley Haven 11-13 3 kills); Warner 68-81 39 kills (Jennifer Aman 22-25 12 kills, Kyra Marcuson 16-21 12 kills, Anderson 12-14 5 kills).
Setting: Northwestern 73-75 18 assists (Halverson 64-64 17 assists); Warner 80-81 33 assists (Nilsson 63-63 27 assists).
Digs: Northwestern 29 (A. Haven 8, E. Haven 6, Emma Grandpre 5); Warner 40 (Bjorgaard 14, Lauren Marcuson 10, Nilsson 6).
Blocks: Northwestern 10 assists (Sawyer Styles 3, E. Haven 2, E. Grandpre 2, H. Grandpre 2); Warner (Kyleigh Schopp 3 assists, Nilsson 2 assists, Aman 2 assists).
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