BEECHER | Just as in tennis, having the serve in volleyball is only worthwhile if one knows what to do with the opportunity.
Wednesday night, T.F. South's volleyball team had its serve game working, making a sideout in their favor worth not only a point, but a harbinger of things to come. The Rebels rode their service game like a big wave and evened their overall record at 1-1 with a 25-13, 25-10 non-conference victory against host Beecher in the Bobcats' season opener.
Rhiannon Hanft served six aces and teammate Jessica Daker added three for T.F. South. Sophie Kessler had a strong game upfront, adding six kills and three blocks for the Rebels. Beecher was led by middle hitter Skyler Woods, who had two kills for the Bobcats. Sam Nissen added six diggs for Beecher.
"I thought our girls were really in the zone tonight," T.F. South coach Kim Sands said. "The offense wasn't streaky, they were very consistent, and our blocks made a huge difference tonight."
T.F. South broke open the match midway through the first game with a series of mini-runs that gave them breathing room against the Bobcats. Three point service games by Rebels Rachel DeLiria and Elise Seufert gave T.F. South a 15-10 first-game advantage. Equally effective service games by teammates Loran Pasko and Kessler put the Rebels ahead by 12 near the end of the first game.
T.F. South dominated the second game from the get-go, jumping to an 8-1 lead highlighted by service aces from Seufert and Daker, and punctuated by a pair of kills from Kessler. Three service aces by Hanft put the Rebels ahead 15-5, and Beecher's inability to handle Dakar's serve closed out the match.
"We definitely were serving a lot better as a team today than we did (against Lincoln-Way North)," Rebel senior right-hitter Ashley Olszewski said. "I guess a good night's rest makes everything better."
Beecher coach Jessica Linn was optimistic of her team's performance, despite the straight-game defeat.
"We came out strong," Linn said, "but then a couple of their serves dropped in and that is when we fell apart."