Playing three games in four days can be a struggle at times, but when they come against three quality teams? That adds to the challenges.
That’s the situation that the Nokomis High School volleyball team found themselves in this week as they faced off against Greenfield-Northwestern, Father McGivney and Staunton on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, March 24, 25 and 27.
The Lady Redskins made their way to Palmyra on Wednesday, March 24, for a date with the Greenfield-Northwestern Tigers.
After making it to the super sectional last year, the Tigers are off to a hot start in 2021, with three wins and one loss. The loss came against Jacksonville Routt, who was sectional qualifier last year after winning their third straight regional.
While the Redskins were coming off a win against Bunker Hill the day before, they wouldn’t be able to upend the Tigers, falling in two games 25-18, 25-16.
Nokomis was able to keep it close through the back row defensive efforts of their senior leaders, Delaney Keiser, Kristen Stauder and Mia Fesser. Keiser led the team with a game-high 13 digs, while Stauder and Fesser added 10 and seven digs respectively. Closer to the net, sophomore Audrey Sabol contributed six blocks against the Greenfield hitters, who finished the game with 26 kills.
Nokomis’ attack was led by Sabol, who had four kills, and Olivia Taylor, who contributed three kills. Presley Lamb led the team in assists with six.
Lamb was one of three players to have two points in the match, with Skylar Stewart and Kristen Stauder the other two. Mia Fesser, who had two aces, and Alex Pavolka led the team in service points with three apiece.
On March 25, the visiting Griffins from Father McGivney weathered a comeback bid from the Redskins to defeat Nokomis on its home court.
Game one was close between the host Redskins and the Griffins, with the score standing at 14-13 midway through the match. Nokomis would put together a long scoring though, bumping their advantage up to 19-13 and finishing off a 25-17 victory.
All the momentum from game one was quickly drained in game two as the Griffins strung together point after point and scored a 25-10 victory over the home team.
Nokomis would try to rally to close out the win, but Father McGivney held off the Redskins and won the final game 25-16.
The Redskin defense was busy against the McGivney hitters, with Kristen Stauder and Delaney Keiser posting 15 and 12 digs respectively. Presley Lamb and Mia Fesser were also near double digit dig totals with eight and seven.
At the net, Skylar Stewart led the team with six blocks, while Olivia Taylor and Audrey Sabol chipped in four and three respectively.
Taylor was also one of three players with four kills in the match, joining Fesser and Stewart. Stauder and Sabol contributed three kills each to the attack, while Lamb (seven assists) and Fesser (three assists) handled setting duties.
On the serving line, Fesser and Keiser combined for 17 points and five aces. Fesser edged Keiser 9-8 for the team lead in points, while Keiser had three aces to Fesser’s two.
The Redskins’ week didn’t get any easier Saturday as they ran into South Central Conference giant Staunton. The Bulldogs would improve to 7-0 on the year with a two-game win over Nokomis, 25-10, 25-12.
Staunton had 18 kills and 14 aces in the match, setting the tone early to score the win.
The Redskins start another busy week on Monday, March 29, with a trip to Springfield Calvary. The game against the Saints is the first of four straight as Nokomis hosts Springfield Lutheran on March 30 and Edinburg on March 31 before traveling to Bunker Hill on Thursday, April 1.
March 24 at Palmyra
Nokomis 18 16
Greenfield-NW 25 25
Service Points: Mia Fesser 3, Alex Pavolka 3, Presley Lamb 2, Skylar Stewart 2, Kristen Stauder 2. Aces: Mia Fesser 2. Digs: Delaney Keiser 13, Kristen Stauder 10, Mia Fesser 7. Blocks: Audrey Sabol 6. Kills: Audrey Sabol 4, Olivia Taylor 3. Assists: Presley Lamb 6.
Records: Nokomis (2-3), Greenfield-Northwestern (4-1).
March 25 at Nokomis
Father McGivney 17 25 25
Nokomis 25 10 16
Service Points: Mia Fesser 9, Delaney Keiser 8. Aces: Delaney Keiser 3, Mia Fesser 2. Digs: Kristen Stauder 15, Delaney Keiser 12, Presley Lamb 8, Mia Fesser 7. Blocks: Skylar Stewart 6, Olivia Taylor 4, Audrey Sabol 3. Assists: Presley Lamb 7, Mia Fesser 3. Kills: Olivia Taylor 4, Mia Fesser 4, Skylar Stewart 4, Kristen Stauder 3, Audrey Sabol 3.
March 26 at Nokomis
Nokomis 10 12
Staunton 25 25
Record: Nokomis (2-5); Staunton (7-0).