Wildcat volleyball moves to 4-0

Photos by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper volleyball now stands at 4-0 after a sweep of Heritage Hills on Tuesday - 25-20, 25-8, 25-16.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

JASPER - The good times kept rolling for Jasper volleyball Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (4-0) squared off against Heritage Hills on their home court, while the Patriots (3-2) looked to get a redemption win from Saturday's loss to Mt. Vernon. The two teams traded points back-and-forth in the opening set, but the Wildcats pulled away towards the end of the opening set, and kept riding that momentum to remain spotless with a 3-0 win over the Pats - 25-20, 25-8, 25-16.

Jasper coach Jennifer Hohl feels discipline, commitment and teamwork have been common themes in this team's first four games.

"The seniors have really done a really great job of bringing everybody in and pushing everybody and holding everybody accountable," Hohl said. "I think that's been a big difference for us this year."

It was tough for either Jasper or Heritage Hills to string together a slew of points to distance itself from its opponent. For a stretch, neither team had more than two points in a row, as neither created separation while the two teams traded leads.

"We told the girls every game you have to come in playing our game and not changing to what the other team is doing," Hohl said. "And you always have to come out with high intensity and lots of communication - and I think we did lack that in the first game."

"First set, we did a lot of good things," said Heritage Hills assistant Whitney Xanders. "We talked, we played our offense, our tempo."

Junior Olivia Susnjara (1) and Heritage Hills fell in three sets Tuesday at Jasper. 

Heritage Hills reeled off four straight points, then three in a row to Jasper. However, when the Pats narrowed the deficit to 21-20, the Wildcats found their way with four consecutive points to claim a 25-20 victory.

The second set, however, told a vastly different story. Though Heritage Hills brought itself to trailing, 3-2, Jasper caught fire afterward, claiming a 25-8 win - 22 out of 28 points after the Pats brought it to within one. Heritage Hills coach Kayla White took multiple timeouts during the second set, but nothing seemed to turn it around. The Pats would have trouble getting the ball over the net at times.

"Second set, we kind of let errors get to us," Xanders said. "We got down on ourselves, we lost our confidence in our talking - which has been an ongoing problem."

"I told them, I said, 'I'm glad to see my team is back,' in the second one," Hohl said. "So, I was pretty pleased with that".

The Pats scored a point towards the end of the match, but Jasper senior Izzy Hopf got the kill to give Jasper a 2-0 lead in the match.

An intermission ensued for a few minutes after the second set. Though Heritage Hills doubled its point total from the second set, the Pats had difficulty at times on its returns - diving for the ball, but not being able to get it over the net sometimes.

Xanders credited Heritage Hills for attempting to put something together in that third set and not laying down. With this sweep, the Pats have now lost each of their last six sets, but a new opportunity will arise Thursday when they're set to welcome Evansville North.

"We're almost there," she said. "We're just trying to find that missing piece and get some consistency in our game. We're working on first touches being more consistent, swingers continuing to hit hard - getting them into play."

Meanwhile, Jasper will have the opportunity to go 3-0 in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference on Thursday when it is scheduled for another home game, this time against Evansville Bosse.

"(Wednesday) in practice, we're going to have to focus on being a little bit more aggressive up at the net so we can score more points on blocks," Hohl said.




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