The Trinity Lutheran volleyball team opened the Class A 61 Orleans Sectional with a a 25-16, 25-10, 25-8 quarterfinals win against West Washington on Thursday.
Trinity put together strings of points in all three sets, and prevented the Senators from mounting any long rallies.
“We came out strong. I still want us to come out even stronger,” Coach Chelsea Stroub said. “I think the first game we got our nerves out, and all that. Hopefully, that’s over now and we shouldn’t have to deal with that anymore.”
The Senators held a 4-3 lead in the first set before the Cougars used the serving of Haylee Barker to take a 10-3 lead, then continued to pull away. Barker had two aces during her string of points.
After Washington closed to 11-7, Barker went to the net as had three attack kills to help her team build a 17-9 lead.
Trinity was leading 23-16 when the Senators had a serving error and a passing error to send the Cougars into the win column.
Washington held a 5-2 lead in the second set when the Cougars went on a 15-2 run to take control at 17-7. Abby Hackman had three kills during that rally for the Cougars and Anne Franke had a kill for set point.
Trinity started out strong again in the third set, taking a 9-1 lead on a kill by Kayla Stuckwisch.
After the Senators closed to 10-4, Hackman came up with three kills, and Lexi Schneider had a kill and a block for a point to help the Cougars take an 18-4 lead.
Courtney Barker’s serving helped the Cougars increase their lead to 24-5. The Senators rallied briefly with three straight points before a serving error ended the match.
The Cougars had 34 kills with Hackman’s high of nine.
Stroub said she was pleased with the Cougars’ play at the net and with the back-row defense.
“I thought we were very strong,” she said. “Our back row was really good today, too, so that allowed us to open everything up. That helped the front row for sure. Our digs, serve re3ceive, it was all pretty good.”
Courtney Barker was 16-16-2 and Haylee Barker 13-13-1 in serves with the team 69-for-72.
“We try to work on aggressive serving in our games and that helps a lot,” Stroub said. “I’m definitely happy with them.
“(Saturday) we want to come out strong and play our game. Obviously, we’ve played them twice and they’ve played us twice. They know our weaknesses as well so we’re just focusing on keeping our side strong and confident.”
Trinity Lutheran (19-9) will play Crothersville (12-15) in the 11 a.m. match on Saturday, and that will be followed by Medora (7-16) facing Orleans.
The championship is set for 7 p.m.