Lourdes Academy made quick work of Montello Thursday night, dispatching the Hilltoppers 25-11, 25-18, 25-6 to improve to 9-7 overall and remaining perfect in the Trailways Conference at 5-0.
It was what head coach Jon Ellmann expected to see heading into the match, and despite the team not being at full strength yet, he said they are moving in the right direction.
“Playing our best volleyball a month from now is really our priority, and as long we’re healthy which we definitely are not right now, and we are playing well in late October than we’ll be happy with our season.” Ellmann said.
Sophomore standout Sam Jaeke remained out of the lineup Thursday with a bad ankle and libero Karley Bartlett played limited action with an injury.
None of that stopped the Knights from dominating from the opening serve, however.
Lourdes controlled the opening set, scoring six of the first seven points in the contest. Montello briefly recovered, scoring six of the next eight points to bring the deficit to 8-7.
The Knights responded in dominating fashion, reeling off 17 of the next 21 points, including the final seven off of Kelley Hollmaier’s serving prowess, to take the opening set.
Montello jumped on Lourdes early in the second set, grabbing a 7-3 lead and forcing coach Ellmann to call timeout. The set remained tight throughout until the Knights were able to win a couple of long rallies, seizing momentum before senior Hunter Godfroy put the final two points away.
“They were hitting some good shots and I don’t think we were ready to hit them back,” Hollmaier said. “But we stayed focus and stayed ready through the rallies and were able to pull it out.”
Karley Bartlett’s serve was too much to handle in the third set, rattling off 13 straight points to take a commanding 15-2 lead and putting to rest any chance of a potential comeback from the Hilltoppers.
After a slow start to the season, Lourdes Academy has bounced back nicely, and Godfroy said it’s the team chemistry that has them back on track.
“We definitely have chemistry on the team, so I think it’s just executing on every single play, and we are doing that much better now.” Godfroy said.
Laura Chier finished with a team-high seven kills, and Godfroy and Vanessa Buyarski had six kills apiece to lead the Lourdes Academy attack.
Lourdes Academy def Montello 25-11, 25-18, 25-6
Stat leaders: LA: Laura Chier 7 kills, 3 aces; Vanessa Buyarski 6 kills, 3 blocks; Hunter Godfroy 6 kills; Karley Bartlett 3 digs; Crystal Combs 2 blocks.