By Jane White
Falls City Sacred Heart’s Lady Irish faced a tough task in taking on the Freeman Lady Falcons in the finals of the MUDECAS Volleyball Tournament’s A Division.
Freeman defeated Sacred Heart in straight sets, 25-16, 25-12.
The A Division championship was the third in a row earned by Freeman.
“Freeman is extremely talented and they bring a lot of leadership to the court,” Sacred Heart coach Susan Witt said. “They have all those seniors.”
Witt said Freeman has the quickest offense the Lady Irish have seen all season.
“I don’t think our girls did that bad, considering we’ve never played a team that quick,” Witt said.
Witt said there were some bright spots for Sacred Heart in the match, however.
“I saw my team talking a lot more,” Witt said. “I also saw my hitters hitting more consistently.”
Witt said the Lady Irish didn’t have as many attacks against Freeman as in other matches, but were more consistent when they did attack.
“In the future, I think we have good things to look forward to,” Witt said.
FCSH improved to 6-4 after a successful week in Beatrice. The Irish were 2-3 at one point just a few days prior at the Humboldt-TR-S Invite. But after losing the opener of that tourney to the hosts, the Lady Irish stormed back to beat Lewiston and Pawnee City in straight sets and finished third.
FCSH was scheduled to travel to Mound City last night and faces 4-3 NC Lourdes for a third time already this season tonight on the road. They Axtell (KS) Tournament is Saturday. FCSH returns to Prichard Auditorium next Tuesday, Sept. 30, to face Lewiston.
Junior Maggie Goltz is continuing to play well for the Lady Irish, Witt said.
Goltz led Sacred Heart’s attack with four of the team’s eight kills.
Witt said Jade Hill is “stepping up” and playing well as a sophomore.
“I see her being more consistent,” Witt said of Hill. “She’s readying (blockers) better than she has.”
Senior setter Eliabeth Magdanz is also a crucial part of the team with her leadership, Witt said.
Elizabeth Magdanz had four set assists against Freeman.
Also against the Lady Falcons, Lauren Parrish had two ace serves, Jade Hill had block and Goltz led in digs with seven.
Witt said she hopes the Lady Irish will “just keep building” on the success they had in the MUDECAS tournament.
“With the things we’re getting better with, we’re becoming a more balanced team,” Witt said. “I want to build on that.”
Witt said the Lady Irish will get better as they are able to diversify their offense more.
“We need to get the ball to more of our hitters to keep the other team guessing,” Witt said.
Third-seeded Heart advanced through opening-round play, but had to rally after a first-set loss. Sacred Heart defeated Nebraska City Lourdes, 20-25, 25-16, 25-14.
“It was good to win,” Witt said. “Lourdes beat us earlier in a tournament, so it was nice to know we could come back and beat them.”
After the first-set loss, Witt said the team talked about needing to communicate better.
“Our girls are pretty quite, so we need to talk more,” Witt said. “That’s one of the main things we’re lacking.
Witt said the team also “lacked a little hustle” in the first set.
In the second and third sets, Witt said the team did better with both communication and hustle.
“We’re pretty young,” Witt said. “We’re playing two sophomores and a freshman. It’s taking our team a little longer to gel.”
Once the team started talking, Witt said the team was passing the ball better, allowing the setters to get the ball to the team’s hitters.
“Maggie Goltz stands out,” Witt said. “For the season she’s hitting almost .400, which is phenomenal.”
Against Lourdes, Sacred Heart was led in kills by Goltz with 11.
Alexis Barnes led in assists with 16 and digs with 11. Elizabeth Magdanz had seven kills and 10 assists.
Witt said Elizabeth Magdanz is becoming more of a leader on the court for the Lady Irish.
“She’s showing that not just physically, but she’s talking and leading the team a lot better,” Witt said.
Abby Magdanz had two ace serves.
Goltz led the team in blocking with four.
Sacred Heart advanced to the championship match with a 12-25, 25-17, 25-19 win over Exeter-Milligan in the semifinals.
Witt said Goltz has been “very consistent” in the tournament attacking the ball.
Goltz and Jade Hill shared the team lead for kills with 10 each.
Elizabeth Magdanz is also leading the team, talking, and contributing with both assists and kills. She had 12 set assists and two ace serves.
Hill led in blocks with three and Abby Magdanz had 14 digs.
Service aces: SH (Abby Magdanz two. Kills: SH (Maggie Goltz 11, Elizabeth Magdanz seven). Assists: SH (Elizabeth Magdanz 10, Alexis Barnes 16). Blocks: SH (Goltz four, Jade Hill three). Digs: SH (Barnes 11, Goltz 10, Elizabeth Magdanz 10).
Service aces: SH (Maggie Goltz one, Elizabeth Magdanz two). Kills: SH (Lexi Barnes two, Holtz 10, Jade Hill 10, Abby Magdanz one, Lauren Parrish eight). Assists: Sacred Heart (Barnes 17, Elizabeth Magdanz 12, Parrish one). Blocks: SH (Barnes one, Hill three, Elizabeth Magdanz one). Digs: SH (Barnes five, Libby Dunn five, Goltz nine, Hill eight, Abby Magdanz 14, Elizabeth Magdanz seven, Parrish one).
Sacred Heart vs. Freeman
Service aces: SH (Lauren Parrish two). Kills: SH (Maggie Goltz four, Jade Hill three, Parrish one). Assists: SH (Alexis Barnes three, Elizabeth Magdanz four, Parrish one). Blocks: SH (Hill one). Digs: SH (Barnes two, Libby Dunn one, Goltz seven, Hill two, Abby Magdanz three, Elizabeth Magdanz one, Parrish five).