The Sacred Heart volleyball team remained unbeaten with a 25-14, 25-18 win at home over Sweet Springs on Thursday.
The Gremlins pulled away early in the first game and overcame a strong second game from the Lady Greyhounds.
Becky Full led the Gremlins with eight kills. Hannah Wilhoit had five and Laura Wadley and Anna Callis each had three. Elex Simon had two kills and two kill-blocks. Callis and Julie Chancellor each had eight digs.
Sweet Springs was led by Ashleigh Bright with four kills, two aces, a block and an assist and Nicole Bright with three kills and an assist.
“You try not to hit them when we’re swinging,” said Gremlins coach David Fall. “They both have long swings. We’ve got to work better, we’ve got to have better timing against them. They’re both big and they’ve both got long swings. You don’t want to be up early or they’ll be using them and they did that a couple of times.”
Megan Evans, an all-conference setter in 2013, had 17 assists Thursday for the Greyhounds.
“(She is) always hustling, a leader on and off the court,” said Sweet Springs coach Laura Reinhardt. “Just a phenomenal player.”
Sacred Heart entered the season using a setter-by-committee and are still rotating players through that role. Thursday Erin O’Connor had 11 assists and Full contributed seven.
“We’re getting there,” Fall said. “Some nights one of them will look great with great sets that will freeze the block. Other nights it’s another person. I’d love to get down to one or two, but we’re still working.”
The Gremlins took an 8-2 lead in the first game with a pair of aces by Callis starting things off and a pair of kills by Full helping the run.
An ace by Anna Eckhoff helped chip into the lead as the Greyhounds pulled within three points at 11-8, but kills by Simon and Callis helped the Gremlins push the lead back out.
“We took a little while to get in rhythm,” Fall said. “Part of that’s communication. We’re still getting to know each other. I was really impressed at times, other times communication put us in a bad spot.”
In the second game, the Gremlins scored the first four points before Sweet Springs fought back and tied the game at 5-5. Two aces in the span of three serves from Ashleigh Bright put the Greyhounds ahead 9-7. After Sacred Heart tied the game again, an ace from Kortnee Vaught put Sweet Springs ahead 12-10.
Moments later, Nicole Bright came through with a kill to put Sweet Springs ahead 14-12, but Sacred Heart got a kill from Callis and a block from Hannah Wilhoit to tie the game, then scored the next six points to take a 20-12 lead.
“The biggest thing is them coming together and communicating,” Reinhardt said. “Occasionally, they have their faults, they lose track of where everyone is on the floor, what’s theirs, what’s not. Ultimately, this early in the season, I’m very pleased with how they’re playing. Sacred Heart is a tough opponent and they always have been.”
Sweet Springs (1-2) starts on a busy week next week, facing Malta Bend on Monday, Crest Ridge on Tuesday and Smithton on Wednesday.
Sacred Heart (4-0) will face Santa Fe on Wednesday. The Chiefs were a Class 1 state semifinalist in 2013.