—by Todd Thorson
With the temperatures soaring outside, the Maxwell gym last Thursday night (Sept. 5) was a warm environment as well, as the Norsemen girls visited the Raiders of CMB. The Norse had little trouble with the home team in sets one and three, but it was a gutsy performance in set two that helped carry the Norsemen to a 3-0 straight set victory.
"Game two wasn’t pretty!" said Coach Molly Geise. "We were playing from behind the whole game, but we remained calm and found out a way to win it. I think we just went into game two a little too relaxed."
R-S won the first game easily 21-12, but saw CMB jump out to a 4-0 lead in game two, and maintained the advantage for practically the entire game. Leads of 9-3, 10-4, 15-9 and 19-12 made it appear as if the home team was on the verge of tying up the match at 1-1.
A 4-0 run by the Norse, however, cut the lead to 19-16, thanks to impressive kills by Anna and Lauren Himan and a serving ace by Schyler Polaski. A side out to CMB put the Raiders up four once again at 20-16. But the home team returned the side out favor, and Anna hit an ace serve to cut the margin to two at 20-18. It was the closest the Norsemen had been to the Raiders since an early 5-3 deficit.
A couple more side outs by both teams and the tension was building. At 22-20, Lauren Himan tied the score with two awesome serves. Shortly thereafter, Schyler Polaski took a beautiful assist from her sister Kelsey and slammed home a winner to give the Norsemen their first lead of the game. Lauren Himan then served out the set with two more winners for a 25-22 come-from-behind win.
The Norse would then maintain the upper hand in set three by a score of 25-17 to claim the match 3-0.
"We were happy to walk away with our first conference victory," said a pleased Coach Geise.
Anna Himan led the R-S attack with 12 kills and also had six ace serves. Anna, who has been working hard on her serving control, appears to have mastered quite the aggressive serve. Anna was 16 for 21 in the attack zone, and was also 9 for 11 in serves.
Schyler Polaski was also a standout, going 14 for 16 at the net from her outside hitting position. She also managed to slam down nine kills in the process. Lauren Himan was 14 for 15 at the net, with five kills. Schyler was also 15 for 17 in serves. The Norse had a total of 19 ace serves in the match, showing tell tale signs that they are getting more and more aggressive with the serves.
Libby Faga and Kelsey Polaski each had 12 assists. Libero Jennifer Demiter had nine digs. Libby went 12 for 14 from behind the serving line, with four aces as well.
"The things we need to continue focusing on include being more disciplined at serving, passing and not allowing big runs," concluded Geise.