The Kapaun volleyball team has had the pressure of leading a tight race in the City League standings for the last week, but the pressure didn’t seem to bother Kapaun as its picked up two-set wins over East and South on Tuesday night at Kapaun.
The Crusaders swept East, 25-20, 26-24, while also sweeping South, 25-23, 25-18.
“There might be some extra pressure on the girls,” Kapaun coach Amanda Neppl said. “The girls are extra excited and have been willing to work all season long to be the best they can be.”
The Crusaders cruised through the first set against East, but the second set caused some problems.
East was able to get big matches from Astrid Same and Ella Curry, as both were a force at the net both blocking and hitting, which caused some problems for the Crusaders hitting attack.
“We just needed to find the holes where their hands weren’t,” Neppl said. “They figured it out and and were expecting us to hit it every time. It’s just about making adjustments and figuring out where they’re not and hitting the ball there.”
East grabbed its first lead in the second set on an attack error by Kapaun, giving the Blue Aces a 6-5 advantage. Kapaun got up by as many as three before the Blue Aces went on a run. Kapaun was forced to call a timeout, holding onto an 11-10 lead after back-to-back kills by East’s Same.
East continued the mini run, scoring three straight points after the timeout and grabbing the 13-11 lead. Trailing 20-16, Kapaun’s offense began to click, as Katie Torline recorded a kill, followed by a double block from Torline and Ariana Taylor.
“The girls know that when it’s time to go, they’ll finish the job,” Neppl said. “These girls have worked hard all season and are always willing to kick it in that extra gear to get the job done.”
With the score 20-20, the Crusaders and Aces traded serves back and forth for the next six points scored. Kapaun took the lead back on a kill from Ciarra Valadez, giving the Crusaders match point. East had a response, tying the game at 24. Emily Nolting digged a spike from East’s Curry, then passed the ball to Torline who set up Cajia Allen with the kill to end the match, the same way the first set was ended, on a kill from Allen.
East beat South 25-23, 25-20 in the night’s other match.
“It’s always good to win,” East coach Randi Godown said. “We started off pretty weak in the first set against Kapaun and then began to play better in the second set and we just carried that over to the game against South.”