The North Platte St. Pat’s volleyball team continued to show improvement on Tuesday night by sweeping Stapleton-McPherson County 25-14, 26-24, 25-14 at the McGahan Activities Center.
“The girls reacted well when they got down in the second set,” said St. Pat’s assistant coach Kelsie Hansen. “Our defense and passing was better tonight than it has been.”
The first set started out pretty even. But after that, the Irish (8-2) went on a big run with Peyton Irish serving to take a commanding 21-11 lead on the way to taking the upper hand.
The first set was made more impressive considering that starting setter Katie Montgomery went down with an ankle injury.
“We came out strong,” Hansen said. “We played well after Katie got hurt.”
St. Pat’s scored the first three points of the second set. But SMC (1-10) got back into it and took the lead at 8-7 on an ace by Kayla Klosen. The Cyclones then scored seven more points with Klosen serving to go up 15-7.
But the Lady Irish battled back and cut the lead to 19-16 after Bree Saner ran off four starting points in service.
St. Pat’s then pulled to within 22-20 after Elli Wid made kills on consecutive plays. Then the Irish followed with three more, which came on aces from Brittany Lawrence’s jump-serve.
Mariah Harm ended Lawrence’s run after she tied the set at 23 all by dumping the ball into a hole on the left side of the St. Pat’s defense.
Wid then gave the Lady Irish the first set point after making a kill on the right side. But Sami Riedel responded with a kill to keep SMC alive.
The Cyclones then committed a net violation to give St. Pat’s another set point and the Irish ended it when Saner tipped one down in the middle.
“Our serve-receive broke down in the second set,” Hansen said. “But once Brittany got back there and ran off some points, we were able to get back in it.”
The third set played out much like the first. It was even for the first 10 points. But after that, the Lady Irish just took over. A kill by Wid that tied the score at 12 gave the serve to Saner, who ran off six straight points as Lawrence and Wid dominated at the net.
St. Pat’s never looked back at that point to record its second victory over SMC in four days.
“We came out a lot better in the third set,” Hansen said. “We played strong and we finished them off.”