Setters Danielle Thomsen and Michaela Matuska could have been rivals fighting for playing time. Instead, they’re working together on the volleyball court.
The teammates share passing duties. They’ve led Nevada to a 23-7 record this season.
No. 4-ranked Nevada swept PCM of Monroe 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 on Thursday in a Heart of Iowa Conference match at Nevada.
Each player possesses specialized skills, Nevada coach James Brockway said.
“I think Danielle, being a senior, is more of a leader,” Brockway said. “Michaela’s a tiny bit more athletic around the net. It’s an awesome luxury.”
Thomsen averages 4.54 assists per set, Matuska 3.86.
Nevada improved to 7-0 in the conference with Thursday’s win. The team has swept every match, with contests against Colfax-Mingo and Saydel remaining.
“We just started off strong and we would like to keep it going throughout the season,” said Matuska, a sophomore.
The setters hope to earn a conference title for the first time in Brockway’s eight seasons.
Matuska and Thomsen also shared the court at the same time last year. Their effective communication is one factor that makes them a good team.
“We don’t even say everything,” Thomsen said. “We step in without thinking about it.”
Victoria Johnston hammered 10 kills and Megan Pringnitz added six on Thursday night. Katie Tyler led the defense with 24 digs.
Seven players smashed ace serves.
“Michaela’s better at setting off the net,” Thomsen said. “Sometimes I hit the outside balls better.”
PCM (6-12, 3-4) broke to a 20-15 lead in the first set. Nevada put together an 8-0 run. Tyler served back-to-back aces. She led Nevada with four.
Nevada used a late 10-2 run to win the second set.
Johnston smacked a match-ending kill in the third set, part of a 6-1 run.
PCM’s Alex Samson slapped a team-high five kills. Abbi Gilson and Kelsey Townsend each had four. Payge Edwards contributed 12 digs.
Nevada’s tough defense helped the team rally.
“It’s tough to get a ball down against them,” PCM coach Mike Vittetoe said. “It’s frustrating when you get a good hit, then they dig ‘er up.”
PCM started the season 1-7, but has won five of its last 10 matches.
“We’re starting to play better,” Vittetoe said.