R-P volleyball shines in busy week

By : 
SCOTT BESTUL
TRI-COUNTY RECORD

The Lady Trojans were busy last week, participating in a competitive tournament in Wabasha on Saturday Sept. 15, then visiting Dover-Eyota (Sept. 17) and hosting Winona Cotter (Sept. 18). Though the W-K tourney featured some rugged competition, the ballers were back on track for the single matches.

Wabasha-Kellogg tournament

“We played the first rounds in ‘pool play’, which are two-game matches that qualify you for the tournament,” said Head Coach Nicole Schultz. R-P faced off first against Fillmore and won, advanced to a game vs. Lanesboro and prevailed in that match. Then R-P faced Norwood Young America in tournament. “They beat us 2 of 3 (games),” Schultz said. “They were seeded third and we were seeded 6th, so we did not place.”   

Though unable to place, the Lady Trojans got to rack up some serious individual stats on the day. Offensively, Jaelyn Connaughty was the service star, carving up R-P opponents with 10 aces. Kaylee Ruberg, Lauren Lawston, and Megan Oian each added four aces, and Kaleah Davis had a pair, and she continued her powerful offensive presence with 20 kills for the tournament. Lawston was right behind Davis with an impressive 19 kills, Kaitlyn Bieberdorf recorded eight, Ruberg had six, and Connaughty and Alora Wilkemeyer each had five kills. Alyvia Eide and Lawston were the team’s top passers; Eide had 23 and Lawston recorded 19.

On defense, R-P was missing standout blocker Kjersta Hinz, so Connaughty and Davis had to step up; each had a pair of blocks, while Wilkemeyer managed a single. Standout libero Eide was busy on the day, recording an impressive 52 digs. Lawston added 25 digs, while Connaughty and Oian each had a dozen.

R-P vs. Dover-Eyota

After a tourney packed with tough teams, the Lady Trojans visited the Dover-Eyota gym on Monday. R-P wasn’t letting the road game get to them in the least and won the first match 25-17. While D-E made the second game a nail-biter, R-P stayed strong and emerged with a 25-22 victory. That loss must have taken some wind out of the D-E Eagles’ sails, as R-P cruised to a 25-13 straight-set win in the final game.

Connaughty and Oian were the service leaders for the night, bombing the Eagles with three aces each. Davis added a pair of aces, and Ruberg chipped in a single. Lawston jumped all over D-E defenders, torching the Eagles with 11 kills. Davis recorded five kills, Connaughty and Wilkemeyer added three each, and Ruberg had a pair of kills. R-P’s relied on a well-balanced passing game to set up offensive points. Eide and Lawston each notched four passes on the night, Oian had three Julissa Trejo was credited with two.

On defense only four blocks were recorded, and Davis and Ruberg each had a pair. Eide continued to be the digs leader with 17, but Lawston was right behind her with 15 digs. Connaughty racked up eight digs, Bieberdorf recorded seven, and Oian had five. Even the net stars got in on the digging action, Davis was credited with four digs, and Hinz had three.

R-P vs. Winona Cotter

Cotter is known for competitive volleyball, but the Lady Trojans weren’t going to be intimidated, especially on their home court. R-P jumped out to a quick start, claiming the first match 25-17. Cotter battled back to claim a tight second game 24-26. The third game was equally competitive, but the Lady Trojans prevailed 25-22. R-P put the Ramblers away in the fourth match with a 25-19 victory.

Davis was R-P’s top server, zapping the Ramblers with five aces on the night. Oian added a pair of aces, and Eide and Hinz each had a single. Hinz returned to her usual form at the net, blitzing Cotter with a dozen kills. Davis made it a one-two punch by adding 10 kills of her own. Lawston was credited with eight kills, Bieberdorf had five, and Connaughty and Wilkemeyer each had three. Eide continued to display her setting skills as she racked up 13 passes. Lawston had eight passes, and Oian added four.

R-P’s defense got a shot in the arm from Hinz, who blocked six shots on the night. Eide covered the floor as usual, scrambling for an impressive 29 digs. Oian did a fine job with 15 digs, and Lawston recorded 13. Trejo and Bieberdorf each managed six digs, Connaughty had five, Hoiness notched four, and Davis and Hinz were credited with three.

Schedule 

R-P hosted Lewiston-Altura Tuesday, Sept 25, then travels to Dover-Eyota Thursday, Sept. 27. The results of those matches will be in next week’s edition. 

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