The Homer volleyball team did a suitable job of taking away Skyview’s power attack Tuesday in Southcentral Conference action at Skyview.
The scary thing for Class 3A foes is the Panthers still rolled to a 25-14, 25-15 and 25-16 victory over the Mariners. Skyview moves to 4-0 overall and in the league, while Homer falls to 0-3 overall and in the league.
“I think our defense is pretty good,” Homer coach Beth Trowbridge said. “The ball wasn’t hitting the floor a lot.
“We just weren’t able to turn around and create points on our own.”
Skyview coach Sheila Kupferschmid also said the Mariners showed some good things.
“I see potential in that team,” she said. “They are going to be tough come regions.”
Kupferschmid said her team was able to win going away because it did a number of things that make a team tough to beat at the Class 3A level: winning the service game, playing solid defense, and using a variety of attacks and attackers.
In the service game, Skyview’s Hayley Ramsell had three aces, Cat Schoessler had four aces and Cheyanne Laber had five aces. Kyla Pitzman paced Homer with four aces.
“Pretty much what won the match was our serve and serve-receive,” Laber said. “We missed a bunch of serves, but we hit hard serves, and that allowed us to win games.”
A good example came in the first game, when Skyview missed five serves to Homer’s two. But there were eight times the Mariners failed to get a serve-receive attempt over the net, while that never happened to the Panthers.
“I think they couldn’t contain our serve,” Kupferschmid said. “Our serve was dominant tonight.”
And what the stats don’t show is how hard it was for Homer to get into an offense off serve-receive.
“We just could not pass the ball in front of the 10-foot line,” Trowbridge said.
The end result of that was Hailey Hughes pacing Homer with three kills. Trowbridge said poor passing hurt, as did the absence of dangerous outside hitter Zoia Basargin.
For Skyview, Sam Reynolds had seven kills, Hayley Ramsell had six kills, Laber had six kills and Schoessler had three kills.
But Skyview had to work for those kills with tips and roll shots, because straight power wasn’t always working against the Mariners.
“We had been working on tipping and rolling in practice, and that’s what we had to do tonight,” Laber said.
Kupferschmid said she’s happy to see the Panthers developing a diverse attack directed by setter Emily DiPaolo, who had 10 digs and 17 assists.
“We’ve been working and working with her in practice and outside of practice on her skill as a setter,” the coach said. “She still has room to grow, but I saw a big difference even between this game and the last game.”
Libero Casey Neill led the defensive effort with 14 digs.
“Our libero Casey Neill gets to every single ball,” Laber said. “She’s crazy.”
Also on defense, Schoessler had 13 digs, Reynolds had 10 digs, Laber had eight digs, Taylor Wilson had four digs, Jacy Rouse had three blocks and Ramsell had six digs and two blocks.
Trowbridge said she expected somebody to step up in Basargin’s absence, but it didn’t happen.
“We had no offense whatsoever,” she said.
Larsen Fellows had four solo blocks for Homer, while Trowbridge said Breanna Evarts did a nice job covering tips in the corner.