Rocket volley wins, set for district final Saturday

Lynn Wilhelm

The Rockets (21-1) began their road to the state tournament with a win over Falls City, 3-0, on Monday and beat Auburn (13-10) in the subdistrict finals on Tuesday, 3-0.

In set one, the Rockets started off right away with a Jessie Moss signature kill in the first rotation and didn’t let up all game long. The Bulldogs learned quick that the Rockets would serve tough and had a lot of weapons in their arsenol. Lily Vollertsen found her stride on the right side with a set leading 4 kills down the line. The aces serves started to flow with Delainey Cast leading the team with two during the set. Setter Halle Wilhelm added a setter dump kill that left blockers on their feet and the ball bouncing in front of the 10’ line. With scores of 12-4 and 20-11, the Rockets put away set one at 25-14.

The Rockets jumped to a quick lead in set two behind three aces serves in a row from libero Shayla Thompson and then two ace serves in a row from J. Moss to put the Rockets up 15-3. The teams continued side out volleyball until Auburn held the serve for four points off of errors on the Syracuse side to put the score at 21-14. The Bulldogs couldn’t hold on due to errors on their side of the net and a J. Moss kill finished the set at 25-16.

Again, the Rockets started strong with two early kills from J. Moss and two aces from Thompson for a 9-2 lead. As the Rockets started firing away from all positions, the Bulldogs continued to crumble. With leads of 13-5 and 21-9, the Rockets beat the Bulldogs 25-15 to advance to district finals on Saturday against Sidney.

Although the Rockets had 15 service aces, they also missed 8 serves. Vollersen lead the team with kills at 11 on .529 hitting efficiency, J. Moss 6 (.556), and Lindsey Moss 5 (.333).  Syracuse held Auburn to .155 hitting as a team. Wilhelm contributed 25 set assists.

The Rockets had 5 blocks as a team with Vollertsen leading with 2. Serve receptions were split evenly, Cast 11, J. Moss and L. Moss 10, and Thompson 9. J. Moss and Thompson lead the team in digs with 8 each, L. Moss and Wilhelm both with 6.

The Rockets will take on the Red Raiders of Sidney (24-6) Saturday. The neutral location and time is yet to be determined. Sidney entered the district finals on a wild card after a loss to Ogallala in the subdistrict finals. Syracuse is the #6 seed and Sidney the #11 seed.