Prep volleyball: Jackson County Central comes together for win
JACKSON -- Coming off a season-opening loss the night before, Abby Benson said she and the Jackson County Central volleyball team needed a fresh start.
JACKSON - Coming off a season-opening loss the night before, Abby Benson said she and the Jackson County Central volleyball team needed a fresh start.
They got just that, earning a 3-0 victory over Heron Lake-Okabena Tuesday night.
“I think we played really well together,” Benson said. “We came from a loss, but we knew we had to overcome it and start fresh.”
Game scores were 25-21, 27-25 and 25-17.
“I thought that they played really well, especially as a team,” said JCC head coach Deidre Wierson, who earned her first victory at the helm of the Huskies. “From (Monday) night to tonight, we definitely passed better. We served better, we didn’t have as many unforced errors and we controlled more of the court on our side of the net of what we needed to do.”
Benson led the Huskies (1-1) with 13 kills and 10 blocks. She was also 7-for-7 serving and had three digs.
“I played pretty well,” Benson said. “I got in the net a couple times, but I had to work through it and connect with our setters to get good sets.”
Lacey Wacker led JCC with 17 set assists, while Lauren Murphy had 15. Besides Benson, the two setters had plenty of options for the pass.
“It takes weight off everybody’s shoulders,” Benson said. “You have trust in them they are going to put the ball down. We just know that if they get the ball, they are going to go, they are going to hit it.”
Sydney Nyborg had six kills to go with 16 digs and Wacker added seven kills of her own.
“You talk about weapons, and all around I have a wide range on my bench where anyone at any time can come in and try to fulfill a role,” Wierson said. “A lot of them are young with playing varsity, so we’re trying to give them that experience and keep building the confidence to have that success.”
The Huskies were also able to serve well, led by Abby Brinkman, who finished 19-for-20 serving to go with 17 digs. Wacker was 18-for-20, while Murphy was 9-for-10.
“We played better together,” Benson said. “(Monday) night we missed too many serves. We made our serves tonight.”
The two teams were locked in a tight battle throughout the first game, but a pair of Benson blocks late gave the Huskies a 24-16 lead. But HL-O wasn’t going quietly, and was within three before JCC finished off the four-point win.
In the second game, JCC once again had a 21-15 lead late.
However, HL-O’s Andrea Hinkeldey had a trio of kills as the Wildcats clawed their way back into the game. With the score knotted at 24-all, Hinkeldey had another kill, giving HL-O the lead.
Wacker answered with a tip for the Huskies and two unforced errors on the Wildcats pushed JCC to the 27-25 victory.
“It came down to our serving and serve receive,” HL-O head coach Trista Hacker said. “We fell flat with serving; they weren’t on. I think we missed a total of seven or eight serves tonight. And then serve receive, we let serves get away from us and we were shanking balls. It was easy things we could have prevented. For the first match, I did think they played with a lot of intensity.”
JCC jumped out to a 9-3 lead in Game 3 after a kill by Nyborg and a tip shot by Tiara Menke.
After the Huskies missed a serve, Hinkeldey went back to serve.
She rattled off three straight aces as the Wildcats tied the game at 9-all.
“As a senior who has had experience on varsity, she stepped up and made some much-needed plays,” Hacker said of Hinkeldey. “She stepped up at the service line and she really played hard. It was much appreciated by everybody.”
However, JCC scored the next point and never relinquished the lead to finish the sweep.
Hinkeldey finished with 17 kills and went 11-for-13 serving with four aces. She also had 17 digs.
Hailey Schumacher had 14 set assists, while Brooke Freking had 10 for the Wildcats. Sarah Madsen added five kills for HL-O, while Kiana Leighty had seven digs.
The Wildcats host Worthington Tuesday, while JCC hosts St. James the same night, where it is hoping to use the win to gain momentum early in the season.
“We definitely have high hopes,” Wierson said. “I really expect them to finish strong at the end. We’re not going to overlook anyone. We’re definitely going to do our job in the gym and I think they have high hopes of making it out of section now that Marshall is not in it. But there are quite a few teams in our section that are looking really nice.”