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Volleyball Team Plays Well In Opener

The 2017 high school volleyball schedule got underway on Tuesday, August 29, when the Lady Indians traveled to Hoxie to compete against Hoxie and Goodland. The Lady Indians played aggressively and well defeating Goodland and losing a close match to Hoxie at both the varsity and JV levels.

The evening opened with the St. Francis - Hoxie varsity match. The Lady Indians jumped out to an early lead and won game one 25-18. The teams battled nearly evenly the rest of the evening with Hoixe taking the last two sets 20-25 and 21-25. St. Francis then played Goodland winning in two tow sets 25-18, 25-12. The junior varsity Lady Indians defeated Goodland 25-13, 20-25, 16-14 and lost to Hoxie 25-14, 21-25, 14-16.

Varsity vs Hoxie

The Lady Indians took an early 7-0 lead capitalizing on six errors by Hoxie and a stuff block by Lindsey Johnson before the run ended with a missed serve. After leading 8-1, Hoxie earned a three-point run due to consecutive passing errors by the Lady Indians before missing a service attempt. A nice tip by Jessica Confer moved the scoreboard to 10-5. A strong kill by Hanna Bracelin started the next SF rally. Bracelin served four consecutive points culminating with a kill by Lauren Johnson to make the score 16-6. Hoxie trimmed the margin to 18-11, but the Lady Indians added three consecutive points on a Hoxie missed serve, a middle kill by Confer, and a Hoxie hitting error to take a 21-11 advantage. Hoxie responded with an aggressive kill by Rebekah Castle. Soon, the home-standing Lady Indians had trimmed the St. Francis lead to 24-18. The game concluded with a Hoxie attack error. St. Francis won game one 25-18.

In game two, Hoxie earned a 1-5 advantage early. The Lady Indians reeled off four quick points to tie the match at 5-all. The run included a kill by Jessica Confer off an attempted block and a stuff block by Confer and Lindsey Johnson. Hoxie answered with two kills by Trinity Balluch before committing an attack error. The next four-point run placed Hoxie at a 6-11 advantage. After a missed Hoxie serve, Confer recorded her first ace serve of the season and soon the Lady Indians had narrowed the margin to 11-12. Hoxie answered with a four-point run including a tip-kill, a strong kill by Balluch, and an ace by Maiah Castle to lead 11-16. Behind some consistent serves by Madison Tice, the Lady Indians mounted a comeback. St. Francis scored six unanswered points capitalizing on a deep tip by Hanna Bracelin, a few miscues by Hoxie, and a Tice ace. The run gave the Lady Indians a 17-16 advantage. A missed serve ended the run, and Hoxie followed with three consecutive kills to take a 17-20 lead. Back-row attacks ended the next two volleys. Bracelin scored on a back-row attack and Hoxie placed a back-row hit into the net allowing the Lady Indians to close within one (19-20). Then, Macy Schamberger's tip began a four-point Hoxie run. Rebekah Castle added an off-speed kill and the Lady Indians took a time-out trailing 19-22. The next volley ended with a Hoxie attack hitting the net, rolling along it, and scoring. A Lady Indian passing error moved the score to 19-24. St. Francis lost game two 20-25.

Hoxie opened the deciding set with an aggressive kill by Macy Schamberger. An off-speed middle attack earned Hoxie a 1-4 advantage. The Lady Indians then received a kill from Jessica Confer on an assist by Lauren Johnson. Lauren's deep-tip on the next volley, coupled with an attack error by Hoxie, tied the score at 4-all. Hoxie regained the lead with a kill into the right-back area of the court that the Lady Indians could not defend. A stuff by Hanna Bracelin moved the scoreboard to 7-8, but a missed serve by the Lady Indians started a three-point run by Hoxie that included an ace and a stuff-block (7-11).The Lady Indians called time-out to regroup, but never regained the lead. A tip-kill by Emileigh Dinkel closed the gap to 10-12, and a Hoxie error moved the Lady Indians within one (11-12), but a missed serve halted the momentum. Another three-point run by Hoxie increased the deficit to 12-17. Consecutive SF errors widened the margin to 13-19 and triggered the final Lady Indian time-out. After the time-out, Stl Francis scored three consecutive points, culminating with an ace by Confer to pull with three (16-19) but the rally ended on a SF attack error. A strong kill by Lauren Johnson moved the score to 18-20 and triggered a Hoxie time-out. Hoxie increased the margin to four (18-22), but then Hoxie committed three errors to narrow the deficit to one (21-22). The set ended with three consecutive points for the home team; a SF attack error and two kills by Rebekah Castle. St. Francis lost the deciding set to Hoxie 21-25.

Varsity vs Goodland

Goodland was the second opponent for the varsity team. The Lady Indians skill set easily overcame the height advantage possessed by the Cowgirls. St. Francis used runs of 3, 4, 5, and 7 points to outdistance their opponents. Goodland jumped out to a quick 0-3 lead. The Lady Indians then reeled off 5 unanswered points getting kills from Emileigh Dinkel, Lindsey Johnson, and Jessica Confer as well as an ace serve from Lauren Johnson to take the lead. Three Lady Indian miscues gave the Cowgirls a 5-6 advantage, but it was short-lived as the Cowgirls returned the favor. When Goodland closed the margin to 8-7, the Lady Indians responded with a 7-point run to lead 15-7. During the run, Lindsey Johnson recorded two aces and a kill. A deep-tip by Lindsey Johnson gave St. Francis a 9-point lead (17-8), but Goodland soon closed within 4 after 5 consecutive Lady Indian miscues. A strong attack by Hanna Bracelin that the Cowgirls misplayed and two Bracelin aces moved the score to 21-13 and led to the final Goodland time-out. The Lady Indians went on to win game one 25-18, finalized by a Dinkel attack that the Cowgirls accidently touched on its way out-of-bounds.

Game two began with a 1-4 Cowgirl lead with all four points coming on SF miscues. It was the only time in game that Goodland would score more than two consecutive points. The Lady Indians responded with a 5-point run to take the lead for good. In the run, Jessica Confer had two kills and a stuff. The next SF run, resulting in nine consecutive points, gave St. Francis a commanding 15-6 advantage. In the run, Madison Tice, Hanna Bracelin (2), and Taighe Weeter all recorded kills. Confer added an ace serve during the exchange. Goodland earned consecutive points with the latter coming on a nice attack by Demi Mitchek. Behind some Bracelin serves, the Lady Indians earned another 4-point run aided by a tip-kill by Lauren Johnson and a block by Emileigh Dinkel. The Cowgirls took their final time-out to regroup, but the Lady Indians earned another kill by Lauren Johnson and another stuff by Dinkel enroute to a 25-12 win. Seven of the last nine points came on Cowgirl miscues.

Junior Varsity vs Goodland

The junior varsity teams played in the Hoxie Grade School Gymansium. The Lady Indians matched up against Goodland in their first match of season. The Lady Indians jumped out to an early lead in game one. Along the way, Mireya Palasio-Rocha earned a back-row kill, Katie Wurm recorded a free-ball kill and an ace, and Hannah Zimbal earned a kill. Goodland had fallen behind 10-2 and took their first time-out. The Lady Indians continued to increase their lead using hustling play to frustrate the Cowgirls. A free-ball kill by Karly Bandel gave St. Francis a 17-7 advantage and a Bandel ace moved the score to 20-8. The most impressive play of the set came on an over-pass kill by Zimbal giving St. Francis their 24th point. The Lady Indians easily defeated the Cowgirls in game one 25-13. The Cowgirls never scored more than two consecutive points throughout the match.

The Cowgirls played much better in the second match. Goodland scored the first three points of game two and then had a 6-point run to take a 5-13 lead. A tip-kill by Emma Johnson stopped the run. The Lady Indians responded with a 6-point run of their own fueled by two aces by Johnson. The deficit now stood at 11-13. Unfortunately, several errors allowed the Cowgirls to earn a 13-19 advantage. Again, the Lady Indians responded with a 4-point run to trim the deficit to two (17-19). After Goodland used their last time-out to slow momentum, the Cowgirls went on to win 20-25. Five missed serves by the Lady Indians were pivotal in the set.

Game three was a back-and-forth affair with neither team holding more than a 2-point lead at anytime. The Cowgirls missed 6 serves in the set essentially deciding the match. St. Francis jumped out to a 4-2 lead, but the Cowgirls soon earned the advantage 4-6. After Goodland earned another 2-point lead, a kill by Emma Johnson narrowed the margin to 6-7 before the Lady Indians missed their service attempt. Consecutive missed serves by Goodland allowed with Lady Indians to pull within one and another Johnson kill tied the game at 10-all. Goodland called time-out to discuss strategy and returned to the floor to earn a kill by junior Peri Sieck only ot miss another serve. Kattie Wurm followed with an ace to give St. Francis a narrow 12-11 advantage. Three consecutive points by the Cowgirls placed the Lady Indians in a difficult spot trailing 12-14 with only one point necessary for Goodland to win the match. The Lady Indians then reeled off four straight points to take a 16-14 victory in the deciding game of the match.

Junior Varsity vs Hoxie

The Lady Indians only allowed one 3-point run to Hoxie in set one. The run came early in the game and gave Hoxie a 3-4 lead. A kill by Hannah Zimbal tied the set, and soon an ace by Mireya Palasio-Rocha gave the Lady Indians an 8-6 lead. The ace was part of a run the Lady Indians made eventually earning an 11-7 lead on a deep tip by Karly Bandel. Another run, this one 4-points in size, stretched the advantage to 16-9. During the run, Emma Johnson and Kattie Wurm each recorded kills. A final Lady Indian run of 5 points resulted in 22-12 margin. Johnson recorded an ace and kill while Zimbal had an excellent stuff on an over-pass. St. Francis cruised to a 25-12 win in game one.

In the second game, St. Francis recorded an early 5-point run to lead 5-3. It was the only run the Lady Indians would earn in game. There would be two lead changes and 5 ties before the game became tied at 11-all. At that point, Hoxie earned a 6-point run to take an 11-17 lead. St. Francis trailed by as many as seven, but closed within two (21-23) late in the game benefiting from a ace by Mireya Palasio-Rocha and a kill by Emma Johnson. St. Francis lost game two 21-25.

In the deciding set, St.Francis took an early 3-1 advantage receiving a stuff block and a tip-kill from Emma Johnson. Hoxie answered with a 4-point run to take the lead. The Hoxie lead stretched to 3 points (4-7) on an ace serve by Reilly Pfannenstiel. A kill by Karly Bandel trimmed the margin to 7-8, and eventually the game became tied at 8-all. The game would be tied 5 times in the latter portion of the contest. Consecutive kills by Johnson gave the Lady Indians an 11-10 lead and triggered a Hoxie time-out. Consecutive passing errors by the Lady Indians allowed Hoxie to retake the lead 13-14 and St. Francis used a time-out. After returning to the floor, a spirited rally by both teams ended on a tip-kill by Johnson, again tying the match (14-14). Hoxie won the match 16-14 after consecutive passing errors by St. Francis ended the last two volleys.

The Lady Indians will travel to Idalia, Colorado, on Thursday, August 31, to play the Lady Wolves. Action begins at 5 p.m. C.T. with a best-of-three junior varsity match followed by a best-of-five varsity contest.

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

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