Generating enough excitement for an entire season, the Borgia volleyball Lady Knights scraped out a three-game victory Tuesday in their season opener.
Borgia (1-0, 1-0) edged longtime rival Duchesne in the road match, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19.
The match also was the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division opener for the Lady Knights, who are the defending division champion.
Borgia Head Coach Brad Bruns cited a strong Duchesne defense as the reason the match was so close.
“Offensively, we were not bad,” Bruns said. “Defensively, they were really impressive. We would stuff block them and the ball would come back up. We would hit the ball down at the 10-foot line and the ball would come back up. They played one of the best high school defensive matches I’ve seen.”
The two teams, who matched up against each other in three state championship matches (1987, 1989, 1990) renewed their rivalry with Duchesne winning a close first game, 25-23.
Borgia fought back to take the second game, 26-24, forcing the third contest.
“It basically was our offense against their defense,” Bruns said. “Their strong defense frustrated us until we made mistakes.”
Again, the two teams were close for much of the way before Borgia was able to pull out a 25-19 victory.
“In the first game, we hardly used any subs other than the libero,” Bruns said. “In the second game, we made adjustments and used some defensive specialists. Putting them in during the second and third games helped.”
Freshman outside hitter Audrey Arand was the team’s leader in kills with 16 for the match. Arand hit .438 with just two errors in the match. She added two aces, two solo blocks and two assists with two digs as well.
“Audrey had an outstanding first match offensively,” Bruns said.
The Kriete cousins, Emma and Jordan, posted nine kills apiece.
Emma Kriete, a sophomore rightside hitter, hit .260 with nine kills and added 12 digs, five aces, one assist and a block assist.
“Emma was one of our leaders last year and she has done a great job to start this year,” Bruns said.
Jordan Kriete, a junior outside hitter, had nine kills along with five digs and three aces.
The middle hitters, seniors Sarah Geatley and Erin Hillerman, combined for 13 kills.
“Our middle hitters did a great job running the quick offense,” Bruns said.
Geatley posted seven kills with one block assist.
Hillerman had six kills while hitting .357. She also had two block assists.
Senior Janie Arand ran the offense with 38 assists to go with three kills, four digs and two aces.
Junior Alivia Brinker was the team’s leader in digs with 13. She also had one assist.
Junior Allie Marquart posted four digs.
Junior Molly Arand contributed one dig and an assist.
“Putting them in really helped,” Bruns said about Marquart and Molly Arand’s contributions in the second and third games.
Claudia Schmidt led Duchesne with nine kills. Janelle Eisenbath was next at five and Corinne Stulce added four.
Natalie Schroeder was credited with 11 blocks. Katie Serangeli posted 20 assists.
Borgia returns to action Saturday, hosting the Borgia Tournament. Bruns hopes to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish. The teams finishing first and second last year are not back, so there will be a new champion this year.
The Lady Knights are at Rosati-Kain Monday for AAA Large Division action. Borgia lost at that location last year and the team remembers that event.
Borgia hosts Trinity Wednesday.