The North Platte St. Pat’s Lady Irish got back in the win column on Thursday by sweeping Cozad at the McGahan Activities Center.
The scores were 25-14, 25-22, 25-8.
The victory followed a loss at Gothenburg on Tuesday and the Bridgeport tournament on Sept. 9, where St. Pat’s went 1-2, so it was nice to stop the bleeding, Head Coach Maddy Krebs said.
“This one was important for us,” Krebs said. “We’ve been on a losing streak and we’ve lost some games we shouldn’t have. Getting this one tonight solidifies what kind of team we can be. It brings our momentum back and gets our spirits up, so this was a big win for us.”
Both teams traded points for the first 10 points of the opening set before the Irish (5-7( started to pull away. They took a 15-10 lead after Cara Roberg and Jensen Becher made back-to-back kills. Cozad (1-11) called timeout and Kinsey Kimberling served for an ace.
Kimberling served the ball out of bounds on the next play. But Cozad committed a net violation to give the serve back to St. Pat’s. Sophie Lawrence served for the next four plays to give the Irish a commanding 21-11 lead.
“I was really proud of our first set,” Krebs said. “I thought we looked consistent right off the bat. We were hitting well because we were passing and setting well.”
The second set was the closest of the three with St. Pat’s committing six serving errors. But they were still able to get ahead, taking a 16-11 lead and they held off the Haymakers to put themselves in position to get the sweep.
“There were a little bit of struggles in the second set but you’re going to have that with any team,” Krebs said. “We had a lot of missed serves and a lot of coaches would be mad about that but we’re serving so aggressively. Sometimes you fall out of rhythm and we’re just trying to keep that consistency.”
In the third set, the Irish took a 9-4 lead on a kill by Gabby Swift. Roberg followed with back-to-back aces. St. Pat’s built on the lead with an eight-point run served by Swift that made it 19-6 and put Cozad away.
The Irish have a deeper back row than most teams with Kimberling and Lawrence playing as defensive specialists along with libero Reese Fleck. That gives Krebs a number of options to change up the lineup of servers. After the second set, Roberg and Swift got a chance to serve and they both scored points.
Another plus of having three back row players, Krebs said, is that it helps when it comes to passing the ball.
“Our serving has been really consistent but I think our passing won us the game tonight because everything falls in line when you’re able to pass,” she said.
Next, St. Pat’s will play in the Pleasanton Tournament on Saturday.
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