There were times Tuesday night that Patrick Henry must have felt like there were 12 Evergreen Vikings on the floor rather than six as it seemed as if every Patrick Henry kill attempt was dug up and Viking attacks came from all over like a Desert Storm operation. As a result, the Vikes recorded a straight set 25-18, 25-18, 25-21 win, as they remained unbeaten in the NWOAL volleyball race at 5-0.
“We were well balanced tonight,” Viking coach Nichole Thanasiu said. “I think this may have been our best team effort this year. Our back row players were phenomenal tonight. Everyone is buying in to what we are.”
Evergreen broke away from a 5-5 first set tie with five straight points to double up PH, 10-5.
Savannah VanOstrand’s shot from the right side and a slam dunk block, along with a tip shot to the sideline from Nicole Brand keyed the burst.
Callie Seedorf’s kill kept the Patriots within five, 14-9, but Kori Kreuz stuck a two-hand push on the back line, then scored on a tip in the middle to boost the Evergreen lead to 17-9.
Seedorf and McKenzie Vance got PH close at 20-16 before McKenna Babcock scored off a block attempt, Kelsie Komisarek nailed a left-side shot down the sideline, Kreuz recorded yet another tip kill and VanOstrand finished to all with a right-side blast.
Three Babcock kills, including back-to-back rockets down the left side got Evergreen up 4-1 in the second but the Pats caught the Vikes at five-all on a kill from Carissa Rosebrook.
Again the Vikings broke away to lead 8-5 on Zoe VanOstrand’s ace but PH came back to tie at 10-10 on an ace from Audrey Sonnenberg, then took the lead on another Rosebrook kill.
Kreuz’ hammer shot from the right side brought Evergreen back to even at 12-all, and then Evergreen went on a 7-1 run keyed by two more Babcock kills and a double block from Claire Conrad and Brand to put the Vikes up 19-13.
Again it was Kreuz with a solo block and then the senior middle combined with Komisarek with a double before Babcock burned the line at the top of the key to seal the set.
“We had a number of solo blocks tonight,” Thanasiu exclaimed. “Kori, Nicole, McKenna, Claire, it seemed like everyone at the net got one tonight.”
Evergreen’s mighty mite libero, Cece Silvestri, recorded a back row kill off a third ball, splitting the PH defense to start the third set and the Vikings rolled from there.
Kreuz stuffed another PH attack attempt, and after Babcock painted the left sideline, Kreuz slam-dunked another before a Komisarek ace boosted the Vikings up 7-0.
Seedorf’s back-to-back kills brought PH back to a three point deficit at 7-4, but Conrad’s backset found the hardwood, Kennedi Kiefer stuck an ace and Brand scored on a redirect at the net for a 12-5 lead.
After a long rally in which four Patrick Henry would-be kills were dug up by a scrambling Viking defense, Conrad scored from the middle to double the Patriots at 16-8 and Silvestri one-upped that one with an ace to give Evergreen a nine point lead.
However, PH scored the next five as Rosebrook started the rally with a middle shot and finished it with a serving ace to make it 17-13.
Kreuz restored order with a shot from the middle and a tip around a serving error to make it 19-14, but Seedorf and Vance countered Conrad’s second ball kill to get the Pats closer at 20-17.
Two more Seedorf kills and another by Grace Frania made it a one point game, 22-21, but again it was Brand with a block of Rosebrook in the middle to give Evergreen a two-point lead.
Then Kreuz rammed a bullet down the middle and Silvestri ended the match with a back line ace.
The Vikings play matches at home against Toledo Start Thursday, Northwood on Saturday and Rossford Monday, before traveling to Wauseon in a critical NWOAL match next Tuesday.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org