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VB Teams Play Broncs and Buffs

On Thursday, October 3, the Lady Indian volleyball team traveled to Atwood to compete with the Lady Buffaloes from Rawlins County and the Lady Broncos from Wauneta-Palisade. Though the Lady Indians played very well at times they lost both matches to highly competitive teams. Wauneta-Palisade (WP) defeated Rawlins County (RC) in two sets in the opening match of the evening. St. Francis was defeated by Wauneta-Palisade in the second match of the evening in two close sets 24-26-20-25. In the final match of the competition, the Lady Indians lost to Rawlins County 16-25, 20-25. The matches were held in the Rawlins County High School Auditorium due to floor damage in the Rawlins County High School Gymnasium resulting from flooding.

In the Rawlins County Grade School gym, the junior varsity Lady Indians lost to Rawlins County 23-25; 19-25 but then defeated Wauneta-Palisade 19-25, 25-22, 15-10.

The Wauneta-Palisade Lady Broncos featured an athletically-talented and skilled team. Though the Lady Indians may have turned in their best performance of the season, they could not stop the superior front row play of the Lady Broncos. Junior Haylee Sandman recorded 13 kills and 5 stuff-blocks for the Lady Broncos in the 2-set match. Sandman opened the first set with back-to-back kills. After a third kill by the talented Lady Bronco, Hannah Zimbal and Emma Johnson each scored on deep tips. Mia Morrow's kill gave the Lady Indians a brief 4-3 lead, but Sandman's 4th kill of the set tied the match at 4-all. The next four volleys ended on attack errors; two points being scored by each team. WP claimed a 6-7 lead on a stuff-block by senior Faith Lemon, but a net violation retied the match again. Set one featured 14 ties and 8 lead changes before its completion. WP took a 2-point advantage (8-10) on a kill by senior Michaela Dukes, but Morrow followed with a nasty spike in return. The deficit grew to three (10-13) on double-stuff block by Sandman and Lemon on an attack by Morrow; but on the next volley, Jordan Faulkender recorded a stuff against WP junior Payton Yearous. Karly Bandel's ace tied the match at 13, and Morrow's off-the block kill returned the lead to St. Francis. WP used their first time-out and upon returning to the floor scored an ace. Tied at 15, the Lady Indians missed a service attempt, but Morrow earned a back-row kill on the next volley. Johnson and Faulkender earned a double-stuff block tying the set at 17-all. Rian Zimbal added and kill and Hannah Zimbal served up an ace triggering the final WP time-out at 19-17. A WP attack error gave the Lady Indians their largest lead of the set; 20-17. An over-set tip and an off-the block kill by Yearous narrowed the margin to 20-19; but then the Lady Broncos missed a serve. Unfortunately, the Lady Indians returned the favor on their attempt. St. Francis scored on the next two volleys; an over-pass attack error by WP that landed out-of-bounds and a kill by Morrow off a set by Faulkender. Sandman was now back in the front row and soon made her presence known. A powerful kill by Sandman narrowed the margin to 23-21. A SF attack error moved the Lady Broncs within one and caused a SF time-out at 23-22. On the next volley, the Lady Indians touched an attack that appeared to headed out-of-bounds tying the set at 23-all. The Lady Broncos took the lead on an over-pass tip by Sandman, but a net violation on WP tied the set for the 14th time. Sandman scored back-to-back kills with crushing spikes to end the next two volleys. St. Francis lost set one 24-26.

Set two was eerily similar; but only had 6 ties and 2 lead changes. Mia Morrow's tip tied the contest at 1-1, but a smashing over-pass spike by Haylee Sandman placed the Lady Broncos in front on the next volley.  Morrow's next kill was also answered by a kill by Sandman. Kills by Sandman and junior Maycee Wheeler (down the line) caused the Lady Indians to used their first time-out at 3-7. During the middle portion of the set, 9 of 11 volleys ended in kills or stuffs by one of the teams; only 1 error resulted in a point.....an attack error by WP. During the exchange, kills were recorded by Hannah Zimbal, Rian Zimbal, Morrow (2), and Emma Johnson for the Lady Indians.  WP received kills from Simpson, Michaela Dukes, Faith Lemon, and Sandman. Sandman also recorded a stuff-block. The action moved the scoreboard to 9-12. St. Francis then scored on a WP attack error and an ace by Karly Bandel narrowing the deficit to one (11-12). An off-the-block kill by Hanna Zimbal and an ace by Morrow tied the contest at 13-all. Unfortunately, a poorly passed first ball deflected off the net for a WP point on the following serve. But....WP missed their service attempt, retying the contest. Two over-pass kills by Simpson and spike by Payton Yearous placed the Broncos back in front. Following a passing error on a Simpson serve, St. Francis used their final time-out at 16-18. Simpson added two more ace serves when play resumed (16-20). The Lady Indians were needing to make some plays.....and they did. An aggressive kill by Morrow started a 4-point Lady Indian run. Johnson followed with an ace, Hannah Zimbal added a well-placed tip and Morrow received a touch on another spike. Tied at 21-all, WP took a time-out. I was "Sandman time." The talented Lady Bronco recorded two consecutive stuff-blocks, St. Francis made an attack error, and Sandman finished the set with another kill (her 5th of this set). The action had been intense and St. Francis had played well, but Wauneta-Palisade defeated the Lady Indians 21-25.

The intensity of the WP match seemed sap the life from the Lady Indians. Though the Lady Indians made many good plays in the Rawlins County match, the intensity and execution was not at as high a level as had previously been demonstrated. Four SF miscues and a kill by RC senior Brea Lankas placed The Lady Buffaloes at a 0-5 advantage in the opening minutes. St. Francis took a quick time-out to regroup and returned to the floor to earn a point on a kill by Mia Morrow. Two more SF errors followed (1-7). After Lankas recorded another kill (2-8), Rian Zimbal recorded the second SF kill of the set moving the score to 4-10. The Lady Indians used their final time-out early in the set attempting to gain some momentum. A kill and an ace by RC senior Kristin Beckman as well as kills by sophomore Sadie Sramek and Lankas helped moved the score toward a 9-point deficit (8-17). Jordyn Faulkender earned the 4th SF kill making the score 9-17. Hannah Zimbal sandwiched a nice push-kill in-between two missed serves by the Lady Indians. Another Lankas kill and a SF passing error increased the margin to eleven (10-21). Though Emma Johnson and Rian Zimbal would earn a stuff and kill respectively, Beckman earned two kills and an ace in the closing action for RC. St. Francis lost set one 16-25.

The Lady Indians received two kills from Rian Zimbal and an ace from Hannah Zimbal early in set two to lead 4-2 before another missed serve appeared. Though RC returned the favor on their service attempt, a kill by Kristin Beckman followed. Aces were exchanged by Emma Johnson and senior Maddie Livas and eventually a stuff-block by sophomore Abby Singhateh tied the set at 7-all. Morrow followed with a kill and Beckman answered. When a SF attack struck the net making the score 8-9, St. Francis used a time-out. The Lady Indians would not lead again. Junior Kierstyn Domsch earned back-to-back kills which were soon followed by kills by Sramek, Lankas, and another by Domsch increasing the deficit to 11-15. St. Francis used their final time-out to re-group. St. Francis received kills from Hannah Zimbal (2), Johnson, and Rian Zimbal in the closing volleys, but three missed serves by the Lady Indians in the final 14 volleys proved costly. RC earned kills by Beckman (2) an Domsch enroute to a 20-25 win.

St. Francis will compete in the Oberlin Invitational Tournament on Saturday, October 5.

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