This TB file photo shows Crestview’s Mackenzie Riggenbach setting the ball to a teammate during a match earlier this season in Ray Etzler Gymnasium. The Lady Knights defeated St. John’s in three games Saturday. (TB file photo)
BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Business Manager
DELPHOS - It was a total team effort for the Crestview varsity volleyball team as the Lady Knights rolled past host Delphos St. John's in three games for a non-league victory Saturday morning at the 'Vatican.'
With the win, the Lady Knights move to 13-7 on the season, as Crestview posted victories of 25-18, 25-18 and 25-14. Delphos St. John's drops to 6-14 in all matches.
Delphos St. John's jumped on top early in game one, scoring the game's first three points. However, the Lady Knights rallied and never looked back. Kills by Kirstin Hicks and Courtney Trigg, along with a Hicks ace, quickly gave Crestview a 4-3 advantage.
With the game tied at 5-5, three Mekale Clifton slams sparked Crestview, as the Knights scored six of the next seven points for an 11-6 advantage.
After the Blue Jays trimmed the deficit to 16-13, the Lady Knights answered with kills by Trigg, Clifton and Haley Helm, along with a Hicks ace for a 21-14 margin.
Delphos St. John's did get within 22-17 on a Bekah Fischer kill, but it was all Knights from there. A Hicks kill, a Blue Jay service error and another Hicks slam set the final score at 25-18 in game one.
"I thought we came out and were ready to play today," noted Knight head coach Tammy Gregory. "Saturday mornings hasn't always been our strongest matches but today we did a better job of coming out ready to play."
"It was a typical Saturday morning struggle for us," commented Delphos St. John's mentor Kellie Sterling. "We played well at certain times but then there were other times where we really struggled."
Game two was very similar to the first set.
The Blue Jays led 4-2 following a Lauren Utrup kill but the Knights responded from there.
Kills by Megan Hartman and Clifton started a 10-4 Crestview run that put the Knights on top 12-8.
Bailie Hulihan stopped the Crestview spurt with a point for the Blue Jays, the first of four straight points to knot the set at 12-12.
With the Lady Knights on top 14-13, two Mallory Bowen aces and a Helm kill put Crestview in control at 17-13.
"We were able to get key contributions from a lot of the girls today," Gregory added after the match. "We have been very fortunate in the fact we are very versatile and can play a lot of girls in a lot of spots."
Crestview would pull away from there, adding two more Hartman slams, an ace by Clifton, a kill by Hicks and wrapping up the 25-18 victory on a MacKenzie Riggenbach point.
"One of the things for us is we have to become more consistent," Sterling continued. "We will play a stretch that we do a lot of good things but then it is like we just forget what we are doing and then it becomes a real challenge."
The third set saw the Blue Jays take a 2-0 lead once again before Crestview took over.
The Lady Knights answered with a 14-4run , using kills by Clifton, Helm, Hicks, Nicole McClure and Hartman en route to a 14-6 advantage.
Delphos St. John's got as close as 20-14 after a Fischer slam but the Knights closed it out from there.
A Hartman kill and two slams by McClure sealed the 25-14 victory.
"It's a good win for us," Gregory concluded. "Delphos St. John's is always a good team and the girls came over and did a good job of being focused and ready to go. We need to keep improving and working hard with some tough conference matchups next week and then the tournament starts as well."
Hulihan posted six kills to lead the Blue Jays while Utrup added four. Emily Horstman, Fischer and Heather Vogt also had kills for Delphos St. John's.
Hicks topped the Knights with 13 slams and a pair of aces while Clifton chipped in seven slams and three aces. Trigg also aided the cause by recording six kills and Hartman posted five. Helm and McClure posted four kills each as well for Crestview. Helm also dished out 21 assists and Riggenbach added ten. Bowen led the Knight servers with three aces.