A runner-up finish at the Easton Valley Volleyball Tournament has Edgewood-Colesburg coach Eileen Bergan looking forward to a season filled with promise.
Bergan, who picked up her 500th career win during the season-opening round-robin event, felt the day was a terrific learning experience.
“There were lots of lessons learned on the day,” she said. “Three seniors led the team on the court. That, coupled with dynamic play from four sophomores, leaves me believing that there is great potential in this group from top to bottom.”
Tri-Rivers rival Bellevue Marquette was the first opponent of the day, and the Vikings took care of business in a 21-19, 21-18 win.
“This game was rocky on serve and serve receive, but we managed to stay tough mentally and pull out the win,” said Bergan. “Kelsey Hansel got things going for us at the line with a six-serve run with two aces. She also led the team in kills with nine.”
“In the first game after struggling at the line we had Hansel, Rose Heuchelin and Hailey Rausch serve solid and score points with ace serves. Ella Aulwes and Natalie Wessel were consistent hitters.”
River Valley Conference power Wilton topped the Vikings in their second match of the day, 21-19, 21-8.
“We matched up well with them, and controlled much of the first game, but lost to a late-serving run that we didn’t recover from until well into the second game,” said Bergan. “Their attack was able to capitalize off of strong hitting and our block wasn’t able to keep up with their hitters. In the second game, we had issues with serve receive and attack execution.”
Ed-Co bounced back with a two-set win over Bellevue, defeating the Comets, 21-14, 21-7.
“Things really came together for us in the third match,” said Bergan. “After three straight hitting errors to start the match, Kelsey Hansel battled through and mentally rebounded to really connect on her kills. Hailey Rausch had a great game with her hitting consistency and Chezney Priem did a great job of distributing the ball and keeping the offense balanced.”
Host Easton Valley was the next opponent and the Vikings again won in two sets, 21-8, 21-10.
“This was another great game on the day,” Bergan said. “We missed no serves and had six aces. We were able to use our momentum on the serving line to build our confidence in other parts of the game. Hitting efficiency was the best of the day in this game.”
Cedar Valley Christian defeated Ed-Co in the final match of the day with a 21-15, 14-21, 15-11 win.
“Our girls went into this game expecting to win,” Bergan said. “We were not in sync offensively the first game despite decent serve receive. In the second game, we rebounded nicely and had the momentum which we used to start the third game.”
“In the middle of the last game, when we were tied up, we became timid with our attacking and ended up defending more than attacking. CVC played with more energy and aggressiveness than we did.”
Ed-Co’s Priem, Annie Hoffman and Hansel were named to the all-tournament team.
Ed-Co statistical leaders: assists — Priem 83; kills — Hansel 27, Hoffman 19, Wessel 16, Rausch 15, Aulwes 12; digs — Hoffman 34, Aulwes 28; blocks — Hansel 2; aces — Hansel 6, Heuchelin 5.