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La Salle-Peru senior Katie Olson (left) sets for classmate Rachel Hunt (No. 7) as junior Cierra Johnson looks on Thursday during the Lady Cavaliers’ 25-16, 25-15 victory over Ottawa in a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division match at L-P. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Ottawa libero Emily Hackler waits for the ball Thursday during the Lady Pirates’ 25-16, 25-15 loss to La Salle-Peru in a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division match at L-P. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
The La Salle-Peru volleyball team had a busy night Thursday.
The Lady Cavaliers had to come early to help set up for “Cavs 4 Cancer,” an event that raised money for Cops 4 Cancer.
Then L-P had to face rival Ottawa in a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division match.
The Lady Cavs got off to a slow start in the match, but eventually started clicking and defeated the Lady Pirates 25-16, 25-15.
“It was pretty good for having a big crowd and everything,” L-P senior Katie Olson said. “We haven’t had this many people in our gym for a while. It was crazy at the beginning because we had to set up for pink night and everything, so you have to get all that stuff out of your system. It was a little rough in the beginning, but we pulled it out.”
The first set was tied six times early before a kill by senior Rachel Hunt gave the Lady Cavs the lead for good at 10-9.
“I thought we blocked very well tonight,” L-P coach Mark Haberkorn said. “I thought it was the difference in the match. What got us going in Game 1 was our blocking. I thought blocking also played an important part in Game 2. I just thought we were able to control the net tonight on defense.”
L-P senior Ellie Senica had five blocks, while Cierra Johnson added three.
The Lady Cavs also were strong at the net offensively, especially in the middle as they capitalized on quicks.
Senica put down a team-high seven kills and Hunt added five. L-P also received five kills from sophomore Taylor Gibson, four from junior Shana Puetz and three from Johnson on the outside.
“We’ve been working on our middle play lately in practice,” said Olson, who had 19 assists, 16 points, five digs and three kills. “We know we need to get it stronger to continue on playing through regionals and sectionals.”
Olson got L-P started strong in the second set as she rattled off eight consecutive points to give the Lady Cavs an 8-0 lead.
“Katie was just able to make a run in Game 2,” Haberkorn said. “It sure makes the game a lot easier when you get off to an 8-0 start. She just gave us an opportunity to take a big lead in Game 2.”
Abby Turczyn led the Lady Cavs (15-0, 4-0 NIB 12 West) with 13 digs to go along with five points. Gibson contributed eight digs and seven points, Jenessa Huebbe served up seven points and Puetz had six digs.
Emily Hackler had eight digs for the Lady Pirates (13-9, 2-2 NIB 12 West), Jess Wignes had eight digs and two kills and Kenzie Rombach added four kills, three points and two digs.
“I thought that defensively we did some really nice things — being where the ball was at and being able to get some set ups,” Ottawa coach Sue Staus said. “I don’t think we capitalized on putting the ball down. I don’t think offensively we did some of the things we’re capable of doing.”
Notes: L-P won the sophomore match 25-17, 25-8. … In freshman action, the L-P Red team won 25-6, 25-13, while the Green squad won 25-14, 21-25, 15-6. … More than $1,350 was raised for Cops 4 Cancer. “It was a great night,” Haberkorn said. “We want to thank everyone who contributed and participated to make it successful.”
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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