The Blue Springs volleyball team came into Tuesday’s match against Suburban Big Six rival Lee’s Summit North with two straight losses.
Whether her Wildcats won or lost, head coach Katie Straka wanted her team to accomplish some things at home.
“We really talked about, regardless of the outcome of the match, we wanted to get back to what we do well,” Straka said. “We wanted to serve aggressively, we want to pass the ball well, we wanted to always be smart offensively.”
Blue Springs did all of those things Tuesday as it rolled to a 25-13, 25-16 home victory.
For the third time in five games, the Wildcats (3-2, 1-1 conference) had a different player lead the team in kills. This time it was senior Niya Harris with nine. She was the beneficiary of her team’s quick passing.
“I think we did pretty good offensively,” Harris said. “We did a great job executing the play when we needed to. There were times when it was a little bit shaky, but we picked it up when we needed to.”
The key to Blue Springs being able to execute quick passes for short sets, which are placed just above the net, was the defense, Straka said.
“It all starts at the beginning. It all starts with the defense. We were pretty well set on defense and that allowed us to get the ball to out setter Lily (Letchworth),” Straka said. “That’s why we were able to run that kind of offense.”
The Wildcats spread the attack around to different players. Freshman Chloe Kaminski finished with seven kills and junior Aliyah Bello had six.
The serving for Blue Springs was just as good. Harris led with two aces and Bello had one.
“Sometimes when you have great serving, that can make your front row look a little bit better and give them more opportunities,” Straka said.
The Wildcats led for the entire first set, but it was close until they went on a on a 9-1 run was fueled by three different players getting kills to extend their lead to 20-10. North closed out the set by hitting a couple of balls into the net, giving the Wildcats the final two points.
The Broncos (1-5, 0-3) started off hot in the second set when they took a 4-0 lead. The Wildcats roared back and eventually tied it at 9-all. Bello and Harris accounted for 11 of Blue Springs’ final 16 points on either a kill or a block to close out the victory.
“We played pretty solid,” Kaminsky said. “Our offense was a lot better than the last game. We connected on our hitting and everyone contributed.”