After having to sit out the first two weeks of the regular season due to COVID-19 concerns within the volleyball team, Sandhills-Thedford made their triumphant return to the court on homecoming against Hyannis. The Knights were able to come together and win the match in four sets.
“I am really proud of the girls, they came out and played their game,” Head coach Janet Victory said. “We didn’t have a lot of mistakes on serve receive and didn’t have a lot of mistakes on hitting toward the end.”
In set one, S-T came out swinging and took an early 3-2 lead, thanks to a kill by Tenley Rasmussen in the middle. The Knights lead was extended to two when Rasmussen came up with her second kill.
Hyannis was able to hang around long enough in the set, to benefit from miscommunication and hitting errors on the side of the Knights.
With the scored tied at 21-21, the Longhorns proved they had played a few more matches on the season, by going on a two-point run that forced Victory to call a timeout. S-T would regain one of the points back, but in the end, still lost the set 25-22.
“I knew we were going to be a little bit rusty,” Victory said. “Everybody is in a new position this year, except our setter. We also had to move some girls around after our outside starter was hurt today.”
The Knights would once again take another early lead, this time 10-7 after Miriam Ganoung recorded her second ace serve of the set.
Long hits at the net allowed the Longhorns back into the game and eventually helped them to take the lead at 17-14.
Winter Benscoter was able to dig S-T out of their hole with a good run at the service line. During this time, she was able to record two aces and helped tie the score up at 17-17.
Later on, Rasmussen added another kill to the stat sheet and the team went up by one. The Knights were able to score on the next play as well, giving them set point at 24-22.
After two letdowns in a row, Hyannis was able to tie the set up at 24-24.
Fighting to stay in the match, the Knights were not going to let this game slip away. Too many hits by the Longhorns and Ganoung’s third ace propelled S-T to the 26-24 win.
S-T carried the momentum from that set into the third, where they arguably played their best volleyball of the night.
Summar Schaefer helped get the team out to a 3-0 start at the service line and recorded an ace along the way. Later on, Ariel Bryant got a kill that put the Knights up 16-8.
An unusual kill by libero Maddie Glidden helped S-T secure a 25-17 win.
The Knights were determined to start the season off on the right note, and it showed in the final set, jumping out to a 7-2 lead. A big reason for it was three straight aces by Madi Marten.
For the most part, the team stayed consistent in the set and relied on their strong serve game to bring them home, winning the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
For a team that only won one game last season, it was the perfect way to start the season. “When we started the summer workouts, they worked really hard and I knew they were dedicated, and that they wanted to win bad,” Victory said. “They want to get the Sandhills-Thedford name back up to where it was.”
Offensively, Brea Branic led the team with 12 kills, followed by Rasmussen with 10, Taylor Weber with five, Glidden with four, Ariel Bryant with three, Marten with two, and Ganoung with one.
Probably the most impressive stat of the night was all the aces recorded by the Knights. Marten was able to record ten, while Schaefer had seven, Ganoung had five, Rasmussen and Weber had four, Branic had three, and Glidden had one.