Tuesday’s Class 3 District 8 volleyball semifinals yielded no surprises as the top two seeds moved to the championship match.
In action at Union High School:
• (1) Borgia defeated (4) Sullivan, 25-12, 25-12; and
• (2) Owensville defeated (3) Union, 25-22, 27-25.
In a rematch of last year’s district semifinal, Borgia (27-3-1) ended the season for the Lady Eagles (12-12-6), 25-12, 25-12.
Borgia’s victory started another winning streak as the Lady Knights lost in the season finale last Tuesday at Lutheran St. Charles.
“People say you don’t want to lose, but I think that loss was probably one of the best things that has happened to us this season,” Borgia Head Coach Brad Bruns said. “We got a little complacent at times, but something hit a switch after that loss to Lutheran. Practice this past week has been amazing. I’ve never seen such ball control or sheer intensity of the girls going after the ball and diving on the floor picking balls up. It’s been completely different the past week. The girls are serious about it now and they want a long run. For the rest of the season I think they’re going to do whatever they can to make that happen.”
Sullivan Head Coach Sarah Rochleau said she knew her team had a difficult task.
“We definitely ran into a very tough Borgia squad,” Rochleau said. “We worked hard to try to slow them down, but their fast-pace offense and serving proved to be too much for us to handle.”
Rochleau did see positives.
“After losing the first game, we did a good job serving tough to start the second set and got out to an early lead,” Rochleau said. “We kept it relatively close, 18-12, until Jordan Kriete stepped back to serve and finished off the game.”
Kriete served two aces and the Borgia offense did the rest with Emma Kriete and Audrey Arand combining for five kills.
Emma Kriete led the team in the match with nine kills while hitting .500. Arand recorded eight kills and hit .389.
Borgia had plenty of other production as well. Senior middle hitter Sarah Geatley posted four kills and senior Erin Hillerman added three.
Senior setter Janie Arand posted three kills.
Jordan Kriete added two kills to go with her aces and six digs.
Janie Arand recorded 17 assists and Emma Kriete added two.
Emma Kriete and Alivia Brinker served three aces apiece. Geatley, Audrey Arand and Maddie Toelke also served aces.
Brinker led the team with six digs. Janie Arand had five while Audrey Arand and Molly Arand had two apiece. Emma Kriete and Allie Marquart each had one dig.
Emma Kriete and Geatley combined for a block.
Taylor Lucas and Victoria Dace each had two kills for Sullivan. Aley Lucas had Sullivan’s other kill.
Taylor Lucas posted one block. Demi Armstrong had four assists. Armstrong and Sarah Weiland served aces.
The night’s closest match yielded a 25-22, 27-25 win for the second-seeded Dutchgirls (19-14) over host Union (14-13-1).
“They put up a tough fight and I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Owensville Head Coach Kari Nolting. “As most coaches know, it is hard to beat a team three times in one season. My team was able to push through that and beat Union for the third time. Each time we have played them however they have gotten better and better. They continue to grow as we do and it is always a good match for us to play Union. We appreciate how hard they make us work.”
Union Head Coach Angie Morris was proud of her team.
“I am very proud of how hard the girls played,” Morris said. “We did not give up and they gave it their all. We ran out of subs in the final points of the last set and that really hurt us. We had to rotate and put one of our setters in the front row and they took advantage of that. It was great to hear the crowd cheering for us and wanting to see us succeed. I have some great girls on my team and will continue to say how proud I am of them.”
Both games came down to key moments late. In the first game, Union trailed 23-17, but closed to 23-22 with Emily Schroeder serving. Jayde Miriani and Kaitlin Voss added kills.
A service error gave the Dutchgirls game point and an attack error allowed Owensville to win.
In the second game, the contest was tied at 20-20 before Owensville appeared to break away. Union caught up at 24-24 on a Clare Stowe ace.
Owensville reached match point on a Hailey Diestelkamp kill before Union tied it on a block by Brooke Pope and Lizzy Birkman.
The Dutchgirls reached match point for the third time after Breanna Baker added a kill. Owensville won the match on a block by Baker.
Pope and Taylor Gaebe each had five kills in the match. Miriani added two.
“I think the best thing we did last night was put up a big block,” Morris said. “Both Clare and Brooke earned eight blocks with four of them being solo blocks. Lizzy Birkmann had six blocks with 3 solos. Jayde had 5 blocks with three solos and Taylor Gaebe had four with one solo.”
Morris credited her defensive trio of Victoria Kramer, Schroeder and Elli Aldrich.
“Victoria, Emily and Elli did a great job on serve receive and defense,” Morris said. “Victoria tried hard to read the hitters and adjust to where they were going. Emily does a great job reading the hitters and her passing continued to be an asset to our game.”
Morris said Owensville did a good job of making others try to set the ball.
“Our setters had to work hard and we were out of system frequently but the girls stepped up and tried to help them out as much as they could,” Morris said. “We struggled with some of the tips but I guess they had to tip because of our block. Blocking is one of the aspects we have worked very hard on this season and I am glad to see them be successful at that.”