Could Nokomis fans pack in one more game over the last weekend? In addition to the Homecoming football game and the junior high state championship, the Nokomis Volleyball team participated in a tournament in Riverton Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Nokomis first matched up against tough teams from Riverton and Mt. Zion to lose both games.
The service points were spread out between team members with Izzy Batty, Josie Foster and Devyn Gaskin having three each against Riverton. The key to acquiring service points is to be consistent with the serve and having teammates taking care of keeping the ball off the floor in your territory.
Against Mt. Zion, Foster led in consistent serving with eight service points and Batty with four. Both opponent teams were good at blocking. Ashley Schneider had nine kills and Sammi Voils for seven in the two games combined. Voils and teammate Carmen Huddleston had the most digs, 20 and 18 respectively. Batty led in assists with 16.
On Saturday the team had better results when they played Cahokia for their first match-up. Nokomis was prepared to hit, taking the lead and not letting go. After a collision of players, Nokomis got it together and after kills from Voils, Schneider and Lindsay Strazar, the score was a comfortable 19-7.
The Redskins had a few missed serves but Cahokia was having trouble slowing down hard Nokomis spikes as they came over the net. Schneider served the game winning 25th point making the final score 25-11.
Cahokia started the second game a little stronger. Even after a Voils’ downball to the back corner, a communication lapse had Cahokia with a slight lead 7-6. Schneider made a sacrificing effort to play the ball out of the bleachers and Cahokia’s missed serve gave Nokomis the edge they needed.
Teamwork efforts pulled Nokomis ahead as Gaskin served aces, Foster, Schneider and Voils were delivering kills, and Huddleston was executing good serve-receives. Laney Goldsmith came in to serve consistently and keep the lead at 22-15.
Becca Robertson slammed the ball down and Cahokia couldn’t handle the hits Nokomis was delivering. It was a Nokomis victory, 25-15.
Auburn was the next challenge. There was never a clear leader in the first game, as the score was mostly a two point difference. Schneider and Voils can not only play the net, but the back row, too, as they played Auburn's serves well.
It seemed to be the serves that were giving Nokomis trouble and handing Auburn points, but kills from several Redskins kept them in the game. It’s not only kills that build points, but light tips to empty spaces do the trick nicely. Katie Robertson won a battle at the net and an unreturnable Slammin’ Sammi ball had the score at 24 all.
Nokomis let a ball drop after a block and Auburn served a ‘roll over the net’ ace to win the first game 26-24.
The second and final game played out the same way with the score too close for comfort for either side. The biggest difference was the ceiling being an obstruction as Nokomis struggled to play balls ricocheting from the ceiling.
Absence of communication would give Auburn their biggest lead of 16-22. Nokomis didn’t give up, but another missed serve and a soft tip from Auburn allowed the Trojans to win 21-25.
Saturday’s highs include Schneider with 20 digs in the combined games, Voils with 15 kills, Batty with 19 assists, and Strazar with 5 blocks.
Nokomis managed to fit in another game last Thursday in their home gym against Mt. Olive.
The junior varsity played well together to win after the third game in the match. The varsity won in two games with Voils earning seven kills, Schneider with three; Batty with seven assists and Gaskin with five; Voils and Stazar had one stuff each; Voils and Schneider with three digs apiece.
Nokomis will travel to play Central A & M on Monday evening and return home to play Edinburg on Tuesday.