Coming off a tough five-set win proved to be no problem for Omaha Skutt on Saturday at the Omaha Duchesne triangular.
The SkyHawks defeated the host Cardinals 25-19, 25-22, 14-25, 25-10 in the final match of the day. That victory came immediately after Skutt had rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Villa Duchesne of St. Louis.
“I didn’t think fatigue would be a factor,” SkyHawks coach Renee Saunders said. “Our girls are in good shape and I thought we’d be ready to go.”
That last match pitted two ranked teams from the River Cities Conference. Skutt (23-6) is rated fourth in Class B, while Duchesne is 10th.
The Cardinals lost to Villa Duchesne in four sets in the first match of the day, which snapped Duchesne’s 10-match win streak. Coach Katie Luther’s team, which cracked the volleyball rankings for the first time last week, is 16-7.
“It was a tough day, but that was very tough competition,” she said. “This will help us down the road because we know what we’ve got to work on.”
In the first set against Skutt, the Cardinals stayed close most of the way. Duchesne pulled within 20-19 on a kill by senior Elise Fulcher, but the SkyHawks won the next five points, capturing the set on a kill by sophomore Alyssa Woodman.
The second set was even closer, but the SkyHawks once again prevailed. Skutt took the lead for good at 21-20 on a kill by junior Kierra Harder and eventually won the set on a kill by freshman Brooke Heyne.
The Cardinals regrouped and dominated the third set. Senior Amber Vaughan had five of her team-high 12 kills in that set, while senior Hannah Lingo also chipped in five kills.
Whatever momentum Duchesne generated from that win disappeared in the fourth set as Skutt jumped to a 5-0 lead. The Cardinals crept within 7-6 when a shot by Woodman went long, but the SkyHawks never relinquished the lead and pulled away.
Senior Taylor Holz and Heyne each had five kills in the final set. Heyne ended it with her 10th kill of the match.
“Brooke is a really good player,” Saunders said. “We’re fortunate this year because we’ve got a good mix of solid young players and older players.”
The coach said she also was proud of the way her team rallied from a 7-1 deficit in the fifth set against Villa Duchesne to win its earlier match.
“I told them we needed to do the impossible in that one and we did it,” she said. “It wasn’t our best day, but there were still a lot of positives.”
Against the Cardinals, Woodman finished with 13 kills to pace the SkyHawks while Claire Knust had 11, Holz 10 and Harder nine. Alex Banker had 35 assists, four kills and four aces, while senior libero Julia Faltin had five aces.
Fulcher had 10 kills for the Cardinals, while Lingo had eight and Olivia Kuester seven. Lingo also had 18 assists, while Kelly Worthington finished with 17.
“We just didn’t have it going that last set,” Luther said. “But if we could play every set like we played that third one (a 25-14 win), I think we’d be unstoppable.”
Duchesne plays at Class C-1 No. 4 Omaha Concordia on Tuesday night, while Skutt returns to action Thursday night at home against Class A No. 8 Millard North.
Omaha Skutt ............................ 25 25 14 25
Omaha Duchesne ............................ 19 22 25 10
OS (kills-aces-blocks): Kierra Harder 9-0-0, Julia Faltin 0-5-0, Monica Hruby 1-3-0, Alex Banker 4-4-1, Brooke Heyne 10-0-0, Alyssa Woodman 13-0-0, Claire Knust 11-0-4, Taylor Holz 10-0-0.
OD: Hannah Lingo 8-0-3, Amber Vaughan 12-0-1, Anna Reed 5-0-1, Kelly Worthington 2-0-0, Olivia Kuester 7-0-1, Elise Fulcher 10-0-1, Aya Zacharias 0-2-0.
Set assists: OS 58 (Banker 35, Hruby 21, Faltin 1, Allison Schomers 1), OD 40 (Lingo 18, Worthington 17, Madison Briggs 2, Caitlin Kelley 2, Emily Foje 1).