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VB Team Plays Well in Losses

September 7 marked the first home volleyball competition of the season for the Lady Indians. Two strong teams came to St. Francis and both left with wins in hard-fought matches over the Lady Indians. Rawlins County defeated St. Francis in the varsity opener in three sets 20-25, 29-27, 22-25. The junior varsity team also lost to Rawlins County at the Grade School in straight sets 19-25, 21-25. In the final varsity contest of the evening, the Lady Indians were defeated by a powerful Wauneta-Palisade team 25-18, 19-25, 14-25.

The Rawlins County (RC) was close throughout, with the teams battling hard for each point. There would be 15 lead changes and 22 ties in the match before the outcome was decided. A kill by Jessica Confer and an ace by Madison Tice gave the Lady Indians a 2-1 advantage. The margin grew to two (4-2) with the addition of a Tice back-row kill and a kill by Hanna Bracelin. Rawlins County sophomore Kristen Beckman answered with a kill for the Lady Buffs before Confer added a tip-kill. Eliza Castens added a kill for RC, and the game became tied on a first-ball-over kill by RC. The teams battled closely for each point. The Lady Indians received a back-row kill from Confer, a tip from Bracelin, a kill by Lindsey Johnson, and a kill from Bracelin enroute to a 10-10 tie. St. Francis took their first time-out trailing 10-11 and returned to the floor to earn another Bracelin kill retying the contest. A four-point RC run, including a strong spike by Beckman, soon placed Rawlins County at a four-point advantage (11-15). Though the Lady Indians earned kills by Bracelin and each of the Johnson twins, the deficit did not close and the five-point spread remained until 15-20. The Lady Indians closed the margin to one (20-21) earning a kill from Lindsey Johnson, an ace from Tice, a deep-tip from Lauren Johnson, and another Bracelin kill. Unfortunately, the Lady Indians could not regain the lead, and RC closed with four consecutive points coming on kills from sophomores Brea Lankas and Beckman (3). St. Francis lost game one 20-25.

St. Francis opened set two with a 4-1 lead after receiving kills from Lauren Johnson, Emileigh DInkel, and Jessica Confer (2). A four-point run soon had Rawlins County leading 6-8. Another six-point RC run, capitalizing on several Lady Indian miscues, placed St. Francis at a 7-14 deficit and triggered a SF time-out. A kill by Lauren Johnson was followed by an ace by Taighe Weeter narrowing the gap a bit, but then a three-point RC run extended the deficit to eight (9-17) and placed the Lady Indians in real danger. The Lady Indians responded with a kill by Lindsey Johnson, but then gave up two more points to fall behind by nine (10-19). The Lady Indians then mounted a comeback. A six-point run initiated by a Confer kill followed by a deep-tip by Lauren Johnson, another Confer kill, a Tice ace, a Bracelin kill, and over-pass tip-kill narrowed the gap to (16-19). Shortly, consecutive kills by Bracelin and a tip by Lauren Johnson tied the set at 22-all. Beckman answered with a kill which was followed by a stuff by Lauren Johnson. Bracelin's ace gave St. Francis a 24-23 lead, their first since the score was 6-5. RC followed with a kill and a Lankas stuff of a back-row attack to lead 24-25. Lauren Johnson's kill tied the set at 25, and Taighe Weeter's ace gave St. Francis the lead again (26-25). The Lady Buffs then scored consecutive points on two Lady Indian errors before Lindsey Johnson tied the set again at 27-all with a strong kill. The deciding points came on a RC attack error and a stuff by Lindsey Johnson to close the set. Both teams had fought hard and played well, but St. Francis had prevailed 29-27.

Set three was much the same. Nine ties and 5 lead changes would happen before the victor was determined. Two kills by Lindsey Johnson and a dump-set by Lauren Johnson allowed St. Francis to earn a 3-2 lead. A kill by Jessica Confer tied the game at 4-all, but then RC mounted a three-point run to take the lead. St. Francis would regain the advantage (9-8) after a kill by Hanna Bracelin and consecutive aces by Confer. The Lady Indians extended their lead to 14-9 scoring five consecutive points on two Bracelin attacks, two kills by Lauren Johnson, as well as a Bracelin ace. Three consecutive errors by the Lady Indians allowed the margin to close to 14-12 before Lauren Johnson gave a facial to one of the RC defenders. The score became tied at 17 and 18 before the Lady Indians earned a 21-18 lead following two Bracelin kills. After a Rawlins County time-out, the Lady Buffs reeled off five consecutive points to lead 21-23 before the run ended with a dump-set by Lauren Johnson. Consecutive kills by the Lady Buffs ended the match. St. Francis lost the deciding game 22-25.

The Wauneta-Palisade (WP) match was very competitive also. In game one, the Lady Indians jumped out to a 2-0 lead getting kills from Jessica Confer and Lindsey Johnson to open the set. Leading 4-2, the Lady Indians earned a three-point run on a kill by Hanna Bracelin and two aces from Lindsey Johnson to lead 7-2. The flurry triggered a WP time-out. A kill and two jump-serve aces by WP's outstanding senior Faith Simpson trimmed the advantage to 7-5. A four-point Lady Indian run including a kill by Lauren Johnson and an ace by Bracelin soon moved St. Francis to a 13-6 advantage. Though the Lady Indians missed two of their next three serves, the advantage stood at 17-10 before the next run. St. Francis scored three consecutive points to take a 20-10 lead over an very good WP team. Simpson then recorded three consecutive kills before the Lady Indians responded with a Bracelin kill and a Lindsey Johnson ace. The Lady Broncos made it interesting, trimming the margin to 23-18 before Bracelin recorded the final two points on a dump-set and an ace. St. Francis won game one 25-18.

Early in set two, Simpson traded kills with Hanna Bracelin, Lindsey Johnson, and Jessica Confer. A service error by the Lady Indians was followed by two aces by Simpson tying the set at 5-all. After Simpson missed a jump-serve, St. Francis took a 8-5 lead on a deep-tip by Lauren Johnson. Two SF miscues and an ace by junior Monique Gooden tied the set at 8-all. Two kills by Lauren Johnson and a setting error by WP moved the score to 11-8 before the Lady Indians missed another serve. The Lady Broncos scored on 8 of the next nine volleys to take a 13-17 advantage. A service error stopped the run, and Madison Tice followed with an ace trimming the deficit to 15-17. Then Simpson tallied two more kills and WP recorded another run of 5 consecutive points to lead 15-22. A Bracelin tip stopped the run. Lindsey Johnson recorded an ace, but soon Simpson scored twice more on a dump-set and and ace before missing a serve. St. Francis lost game two 19-25.

Set three was all Faith Simpson. Simpson recorded 10 kills, 2 aces, and a stuff in the deciding game. Wauneta-Palisade jumped out to a 1-12 lead before the Lady Indians earned a point on a first-pass kill. The Lady Indians earned runs of three and four to trim the lead to 11-16, but then WP took a time-out. After returning to the floor, Simpson smashed another spike inside the ten-foot line aggressively. The game ended with WP scoring five consecutive points. Four came on Simpson kills. St. Francis lost the deciding set 14-25.

In junior varsity action, St Francis opened with a kill by Emma Johnson and stretched the lead to 4-1 before committing several attack errors to allow the lead to slip away at 4-5. An ace by Mireya Palasio-Rocha gave the Lady Indians a 7-6 advantage, but it was the last lead the Lady Indians would own. Lady Indian errors, plus a kill by RC's Daisy Hawkins, moved the score to 8-9. Hanna Zimbal's kill tied the score at 9-all. The teams fought evenly until Rawlins County earned runs of three and then six to take a 16-24 lead. Another Zimbal kill, her third of the game, stopped the run and started a three-point SF run moving the scoreboard to 19-24. St. Francis lost game one to Rawlins County 19-25 after missing a serve on the final point.

In the second game, St. Francis could only muster one run of four points while allowing Rawlins County to earn four runs of 4, 3, 3, and 6 points. After trailing 11-20, the Lady Indians scored on a strong kill by Hanna Zimbal, two aces by Emma Johnson, and a no-play to trim the deficit to 15-20. From that point, the teams battled nearly evenly until Rawlins County prevailed 21-25. The junior varsity did not have a match with Wauneta-Palisade.

The Lady Indians will compete in the Gove County Tournament on Saturday, September 9, in Grinnell/Wheatland.

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

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