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Roncalli turns back Webster for third straight home win

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Ella Hanson, center, tries to hit the ball past the defense of Webster Area’s Erin Sannes, left and Elliott Steiner, right, during Thursday night’s match at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 9/15/2022

The Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers defended their home court in a 26-24, 25-9, 25-14 sweep over Webster in a Northeast Conference volleyball match Thursday night on Roncalli Gym. It was Roncalli’s third consecutive home-court victory after a season-opening setback.

After a back-and-forth start to the opening set, Webster looked in control holding a 24-22 lead. However, the Cavaliers rallied to capture the first set 26-24.

“The key to (the rally) was getting into the right mindset and mentality for our team,” said senior Ella Hanson, who recorded a team-high nine kills in the win. “It took us a little bit to bring up our own energy, but after that, we took off from there.”

Roncalli did not look back and started the second set 7-2, forcing Webster into a timeout in an effort to halt the Cavalier momentum. Roncalli continued its domination and secured a second set win by a score of 25-9 off a kill from Jaidyn Feickert.

“We cleaned some things up from early on and didn’t put as much focus on finding the open spot, but instead staying aggressive and making them control the ball on the other side of the net,” said Roncalli coach Mandy Smid. “We kept swinging hard and forced them to play out every point and score their own points.”

Despite conceding the first three points of the third set, Roncalli picked up right where it left off and claimed 11 of the next 15 points. The Cavaliers went on to seal the sweep with another commanding set victory, 25-14.

After starting the season 0-3, Roncalli now holds a 4-4 record with two of their wins coming against teams above .500, including the victory over Webster, which slipped to 8-4.

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Maddie Huber, center and Ava Hanson, right, defend the net as Webster Area’s Gracie Cadwell, left, hits the ball during Thursday night’s match at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 9/15/2022

“We knew that they were a good team and we looked back at their past record and saw some of the good teams that they beat,” Hanson said. “We knew that we had to get it done right away so that they didn’t have a chance to come back and that’s what we did.”

The Cavaliers will welcome cross-town foe Aberdeen Christian into Roncalli Gym on Monday.

“We need to keep playing our volleyball and not worry about what’s going on on the other side of the net,” Smid said. “If we can get out early and set the tone with our energy, then that’s key in any match that we play.”

Serving: Webster 45-50 3 aces (Baylie Somsen 19-19 2 aces, Gracie Cadwell 9-9 1 ace); Aberdeen Roncalli 62-72 8 aces (Maddie Huber 10-12 3 aces, Camryn Bain 8-9 2 aces).
Hitting: Webster 59-74 16 kills (Bayleann Moen 19-25 5 kills, Elliott Steiner 8-10 4 kills); Aberdeen Roncalli 73-84 26 kills (Ella Hanson 20-23 9 kills, Huber 10-12 5 kills).
Setting: Webster 80-84 7 assists (Steiner 32-32 2 assists, Somsen 25-26 2 assists); Aberdeen Roncalli 85-85 20 assists (Huber 44-44 11 assists).
Digs: Webster 59 (Cadwell 14, Moen 13); Aberdeen Roncalli 62 (Camryn Bain 19, Hanson 13).
Blocks: Webster (Erin Sannes 1 solo 3 assists); Aberdeen Roncalli (Jaidyn Feickert 1 solo 2 assists).
Records: Webster 8-4; Aberdeen Roncalli 4-4.

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