Edgewood-Colesburg used a powerful offense and solid defense to sweep Maquoketa Valley, 3-0, in a volleyball match at Delhi, Sept. 16, 25-20, 25-16, 25-21.

Coach Eileen Bergan knew her team needed to set the tone for the match and try to keep the Wildcats from using their home-court advantage.

Mission accomplished.

The Vikings jumped off to a 9-1 lead in game one, a stretch that saw the Vikings attack the net and force the Wildcats to call two timeouts during that stretch.

Following the time out, the Vikings stretched their lead to 16-5, with Kelsey Hansel delivering three kills and Annie Hoffman one.

The game was a series of runs by both teams the rest of the way, with each team running off three or four points at a time.

The Vikings led 24-17 before the Wildcats fought back with three straight points to close out game one.

Coach Eileen Bergan said it was important the Vikings get off to a good start. “We watched Maquoketa Valley play this year and knew we needed to set the tone right from the start. They are energetic and can steal the momentum. We needed to keep it on our side.”

Game two saw the Vikings get off to an 8-3 lead, eventually leading 20-10 on their way to a 25-16 victory.

The Wildcats continued to fight in game three, taking a 3-1 lead before Ed-Co responded to take a 9-4 lead. The Wildcats could get no closer than 11-9 before the Vikings rattled off eight straight points to take control of the game. Maquoketa Valley fought back, trailing 24-21 and serving for a chance to score. But a kill by Hansel ended the match.

Hansel registered 16 kills for the Vikings, with Marin Gaul adding eight. “Marin (Gaul) does a nice job. She really is a utility hitter for us and can take any type of a set and really read it well,” Bergan said.

Maquoketa Valley coach Abby DeGroot praised her team’s effort.

“I was really happy how we came back from that big hole in game one,” she said. “We threw out some freshmen tonight, getting those girls some experience. The future is bright, but we are just trying to get our ducks in a row right now.”

DeGroot said her team’s fight is something they can build on. “We need to be more successful on our blocking and need to get a few more touches on the ball. There were times tonight there was no chance for our back row. But when there was, it gave our back row a chance and there were a lot of digs and we were able to keep swinging. I think our defense is where it needs to be. We need to be more aggressive and put the ball down.”

Bergan credited her team’s defense. “I think we knew we probably weren’t going to have as many big opportunities at the net tonight. We worked this week on knowing when to stay at the net and when to come off. There were some times tonight we were too aggressive, but I’d rather see that than the other way. Had you walked into the gym in that final set, not having seen the first two, you wouldn’t have known Maquoketa Valley was down two sets. They play with energy and fight to the final point.”

Ed-Co’s leaders were: kills – Audrie Helmrichs and Hoffman five, Ella Aulwes two and Reagan Stelken one; assists — Aulwes 31, Mikayla Thein and Hoffman one; digs — Hansel and Hoffman 14, Aulwes, Gaul and Abbie Sullivan four, Campbell Kirby two, Thein, Helmrichs and Ellie Bockenstedt one; blocks — Bockenstedt, Helmrichs and Hoffman one; serves — Gaul 17-of-18, Thein 14-of-16, Hoffman 13-of-15, Hansel 9-of-9, Aulwes 8-of-9 and Alexa Steger 1-of-1.

Leading Maquoketa Valley were: kills — Carissa Sabers and Molly Anderegg four, Kylie Chesnut three, Anna Deutmeyer two, Lily Huber and Bianka Ronnebaum one; assists — Kennedy Rausch seven, Sabers three, Avery Krapfl two and McKenna Thompson one; digs — Lili Baures 11, Sabers 10, Thompson nine, Rausch four, Krapfl and Anderegg three, Chesnut two, Huber, Kendra Hillers, Leah Ries, Haley Ronnebaum and Bianka Ronnebaum one; Blocks Chesnut and Sabers five, Anderegg four, Haley Ronnebaum three, Deutmeyer two and Emily Supple one; serves — Krapfl 11-of-11, Anderegg 11-of-12, Thompson 7-of-7, Hillers 5-of-5, Chesnut 4-of-4,Sabers 7-of-8, Rausch 6-of-7.