Just a few days removed from a fairly lopsided loss to Humboldt-TRS in the third place match of the Weeping Water tourney, the Lourdes volleyball team faced the Titans again on Tuesday in a rematch on the Knights' home floor.
Although the Tuesday result will be marked in the Knights' loss column, Coach Michelle Kreifels and her Knight players left the playing floor feeling as though they had accomplished much in the rematch.
The Tuesday match was decided in five sets with Humboldt-TRS winning by scores of 25-20, 15-25, 22-25, 25-23 and 15-9.
Lourdes had been swept in a two-set tourney decision on Saturday by scores of 25-17 and 25-13.
In examining the difference between the matches, Coach Kreifels said some of the adjustments that the team made during practice on Monday really paid off on Tuesday.
Kreifels said she was impressed with the way the team showed courage in responding to the Saturday result and noted that the players remained positive in the face of making changes with only a day to prepare, kept a high energy level in a five-set match and showed a great love, both for the game and for each other, with an all out effort.
Set two was the definite highlight.
"All the sets were extremely close, but we really opened up in game two and just dominated that entire set," said Coach Kreifels.
Laura Box was the player of the game for Lourdes and really turned it on in the third set. She had nine of her game high 23 kills in that frame and didn't have an error for a hitting percentage of .692.
"She was outstanding at the net and Maggie (Funke) just kept feeding her," said Coach Kreifels.
Another player of note in the match was Jill Briley. Coach Kreifels said the young Briley is becoming more comfortable with the varsity game. She had quality hits and two highlight blocks that Coach Kreifels said ignited the student section.
Jacey Kreifels, libero, is still learning her position after having moved to that spot at the Weeping Water tourney. Coach Kreifels said she had a game high 35 digs and displayed good service skill as well with a jump float serve.
Funke, who ended up with 40 set assists on the match, drew praise from her coach for the strides she's made coming into this year as the main setter for Lourdes.
The praise was for more than just setting though. "She has improved defensively and was all over the floor last night picking up tip after tip," said Coach Kreifels.
Funke had 17 digs against Humboldt-TRS. Other players mentioned by the coach were Leah Defreece, 12-of-12 serve receive and 15-of-16 serving with an ace; Gabby Ragland, nine kills and 19-of-20 serving; and Olivia Welch, six kills.
East Butler def. Knights, 34-32, 25-21
Lourdes had four set point chances in the first frame of the match, but East Butler endured, escaped a marathon first set, then closed the match out in set two in opening round action of the Weeping Water Invite.
Coach Kreifels said her team put everything they had in that first set. And it showed in set two.
"We just came out flat and never did find a rhythm," said Kreifels.
The Lourdes coach said her team definitely had some moments of solid play in that second set, but was undone by errors.
Jacey Kreifels was moved to libero in that first match and showed well.
Knights def. Weeping Water, 25-19, 25-20
Maggie Funke served eight straight points in the opening set of a second round victory against the host team of the Weeping Water tourney on Saturday.
"We really controlled the game from start to finish," said Coach Kreifels. "Weeping Water struggled to handle our serve and we played really well on serve receive and gave Maggie great passes, allowing her to distribute the ball to all our hitters. We served well against Weeping Water as well."
HTRS def. Knights, 25-17, 25-13
Lourdes entered its third place match at the Weeping Water tourney feeling like they were evenly matched against their foe, but the scores didn't turn out that way as the Knights struggled with errors.
Lourdes played point for point in the first set before allowing an eight point service run.
The second set saw Lourdes allow a nine-point service run.
Overall, Coach Kreifels said her team played sloppily in the loss. The mistakes that the team made are correctable ones, Kreifels said.
HTRS def. Knights, 25-20, 15-25, 22-25, 25-23 and 15-9
Assists: Maggie Funke, 40.
Kills: Laura Box, 23; Gabby Ragland, 9; Olivia Welch, 6; Jill Briley, 5; Leah DeFreece, 3.
Serving: Funke, 19/22 3 aces; Ragland, 19/20; Box, 13/16, 1 ace; DeFreece, 15/16, 1 ace; and Jacey Kreifels, 12/13, 1 ace.
Digs: Kreifels, 35; Box, 27; DeFreece, 20; Ragland, 18; Funke, 17.
Blocks: Box, 6 block assists and 2 ace blocks; Briley, 6 assists and 1 ace.
East Butler def. Knights, 34-32, 25-21
Assists: Maggie Funke 15.
Kills: Laura Box, 7; Gabby Ragland, 4; Olivia Welch, 3.
Serving: Funke 3 aces, Ragland 1, Box 1.
Digs: Ragland, 11; Box, 6.
Blocks: Box, DeFreece and Jill Briley, all with 1.
Knights def. Weeping Water, 25-19, 25-20
Assists: Maggie Funke, 18.
Kills: Laura Box, 13; Gabby Ragland, 4; Funke, 3; Leah DeFreece, 2.
Serving: Box, 2 aces; Olivia Welch, 1; Funke, 1.Digs: Jacey Kreifels, 14;
Welch, 7; Box, 5.
HTRS def. Knights, 25-17, 25-13
Assists: Maggie Funke, 12.
Kills: Laura Box, 5; Olivia Welch, Funke, Leah DeFreece, and Jill Briley with 2 each.
Serving: Jacey Kreifels 2 aces, DeFreece 1.
Digs: Box, 13; Kreifels, 11; Gabby Ragland, and Funke, 7 each.
Blocks: Box,1.