The Nokomis High School volleyball team squared off against Calvary Academy and Springfield Lutheran to start this week and fell to the two Springfield parochial schools to move to 2-6 on the season.
The games would fall on the opposite ends of the spectrum for Nokomis, with the Calvary game a heart-breaking nail-biter, while the Lutheran game went in the Crusaders’ favor from the start.
Nokomis took game one against Calvary on March 29, beating the Saints 25-23 on their home court. The hosts would rally though, taking a 25-20 victory in game two, then holding on for a 25-23 victory in game three.
Even with the loss, Nokomis had several standout performances, including senior Olivia Taylor who had 10 kills, 12 digs and two blocks, one behind Audrey Sabol for the team lead.
The Nokomis defense was busy all night as Delaney Keiser posted a team-high 20 digs, followed by Taylor and Mia Fesser with 12 digs each and Natalie Engelman with 10.
Engelman was also Nokomis’ ace from the serving line, putting up a team-best 12 points with three aces. Keiser and Fesser also contributed, posting eight points apiece.
While the Calvary game was frustratingly close, the Lutheran game was frustrating in a different way. The Crusaders are strong, athletic and extremely good this year and made short work of the Redskins 25-10, 25-6.
Taylor, Stauder and Fesser led Nokomis in kills with two apiece, with Fesser and Lamb leading the way in assists with four and two. The pair also led the team in assists in the Calvary match, with Lamb posting 12 assists and Fesser adding seven.
The defense would be busy against the Lutheran hitters, with Stauder leading the team with six digs and Keiser and Alex Pavolka adding four and three digs respectively.
Following another home game on Wednesday against Edinburg, the Redskins hit the road once again for a date against Prairie State Conference foe Bunker Hill.
March 29 at Springfield
Nokomis 25 20 23
Calvary 23 25 25
Service Points: Natalie Engelman 12, Delaney Keiser 8, Mia Fesser 8. Aces: Natalie Engelman 3. Kills: Olivia Taylor 10. Digs: Delaney Keiser 20, Mia Fesser 12, Olivia Taylor 12, Natalie Engelman 10. Assists: Presley Lamb 12, Mia Fesser 7. Blocks: Audrey Sabol 3, Olivia Taylor 2.
Record: Nokomis (2-5).
March 30 at Nokomis
Lutheran 25 25
Nokomis 10 6
Kills: Olivia Taylor 2, Kristen Stauder 2, Mia Fesser 2. Digs: Kristen Stauder 6, Delaney Keiser 4, Alex Pavolka 3. Assists: Mia Fesser 4, Presley Lamb 2.
Record: Nokomis (2-6).