Warrior volleyball continues making progress, gets first wins of the year

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Central volleyball team participated in another tournament this past weekend, this time at Midland High School, playing a total of six games and picking up the first two wins of the season. 


Said coach Kelly Erickson, “Even though we came away with a loss against tough teams, we played some very good volleyball on Saturday. The girls can see they are improving each game. The communication is getting much better. We didn’t see the errors that we saw the week prior.”


According to Erickson, the great thing about playing so many games in one day is that it gives players an opportunity to get used to working together. 


“For the most part, we were able to get a lot of sets with our starting rotation,” she said. “The girls did a much better job of staying focused and pumped each game. Our bench did a great job of helping keep the girls on the floor pumped, excited and talking. Those girls are just as important to the success of the team as the girls on the court.”


In the team’s four losses, the Warriors were out-scored by an average nine points each set, starting with the 2-0 loss to North Cedar. 


The Warrior offense produced six kills. Aly Feickert led with three, and Lexi Loan, Katelyn Scherf and Mackayla Vlazny each netted one. Lizzie Royer finished with all three assists. 


The defense accumulated zero blocks, but had 27 digs, led by Loan with six and Royer with five. Tori Sylvester, Scherf, Feickert and Vlazny all had four. 


Unfortunately, the struggles from the service line continued, as Central came away with just two aces, one by Loan and the other by Royer, and finished with an 82.6 percent serve efficiency. 


The second loss came against Springville Orioles, as the Warriors dropped both sets by the scores of 21-9 and 21-8. 


Offensive struggles resulted in just five kills, with a leading three from Gracie Cummer, and Royer had all five assists. 


The defense earned one block from Brooklyn Amsden and had 40 total digs, led by Feickert with 10. Sylvester had nine, Vlazny seven and Royer five. 


The Warriors picked up four aces in the game, with Loan hitting two and Sylvester and Feickert one apiece, but finished with a lower serve efficiency than the previous game, at 81.2 percent.


Central suffered another loss against Calamus-Wheatland, falling 21-14 in both sets. 


The offense looked a little better despite the loss, compiling 11 kills. The Warriors were led by Loan with four, Feickert and Cummer with three and Sylvester with one. Royer was responsible for all 12 assists. 


Defensively, there were no blocks, but the team snagged 44 digs. Two players were in double digits, as Loan had 11 and Feickert 10. Sylvester added nine digs, followed by Scherf with eight and Vlazny with six. 


The serving was marginally improved, with Central hitting two aces, one by Loan and one by Royer. Serve efficiency was 88 percent. 


The final loss of the tournament came against Monticello, via scores of 21-10 and 21-19.


Central put up 11 assists, all from Royer, and finished with 12 kills. Feickert led with five and Loan had four. 


The defense had one block from Cummer and 44 total digs, led by Feickert with 11. Royer added nine, Sylvester eight and Loan six. 


The Warriors also put up an impressive five aces—two from Cummer and Sylvester and one by Feickert—and had an overall efficiency of 86.7 percent. 


But the weekend wasn’t all losses, as the Warriors won two games as well. One came against Lone Tree, where the Warriors won the first set 21-12 and the second 21-16. 


Royer tallied 14 assists and had one of the team’s 14 kills. Loan led in the kills stat line with four, Sylvester hit three and Scherf and Feickert each had two. 


Central’s defense was productive and efficient, finishing with one block by Sylvester and 36 digs, led by Loan and Feickert with 10 apiece. 


The Warriors also produced some quality numbers from the serve line, reaching 90 percent efficiency and smashing seven aces. Scherf and Sylvester each had three. 


Central’s second win was against Midland, by scores of 21-13 and 21-15. 


The offense finished with nine kills, led by Loan and Scherf with three, and Royer earned all nine assists. 


Additionally, the team picked up one block by Sylvester, and had 40 total digs. Feickert led with nine, and Loan and Sylvester each grabbed eight. Royer and Scherf added five digs apiece. 


From the service line, the Warriors compiled nine aces. Loan hit four, Royer and Scherf each had two and Sylvester nabbed one. The team also finished with a season high 92.7 percent serve efficiency. 


Erickson highlighted several players, including Sylvester, Feickert, Loan and Royer. Sylvester had the most serve receive attempts and the best serve receive percentage, at 76 percent. She had 31 total digs. 


Feickert led the team in digs with 43, finished with 15 kills and “continues to be a leader on the court along with fellow senior Loan, who led the team in kills on Saturday with 16,” Erickson stated.  


Then there is Royer, who Erickson said the team counts on.


“Royer does a great job running our offense and also plays great defense. She is such a hard worker in games and in practice,” she added. 


As for an early season review of the team’s progress, Erickson said, “I feel this group of young ladies has been really working hard and really wants to improve. Although the record may not show that we are winning every game, we are improving and playing tough volleyball. The girls never give up, and come out and play hard every day. I feel these tough games in tournaments are well preparing us for a successful conference season.”


The 2-12 Warriors will next head to a tournament at Jesup on Sept. 10. 

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