Blue Springs volleyball coach Katie Straka and St. Michael the Archangel Catholic’s Sheridan Zarda both left the Guardians’ gymnasium feeling good about their teams as they wrap up the last week of regular-season play before next week’s district tournaments begin.
Straka’s Wildcats, coming off an impressive title in the Blue Valley North Tournament Saturday, continued their hot play with a 25-15, 25-15 victory over the host Guardians Monday night.
“It’s very important to play your best volleyball as you prepare for district, which begins next week,” Straka said. “But they went out and did everything I asked them to do, and they did it well.”
Zarda was pleased with portions of her team’s performance against a much larger school.
“I just told my team that by playing a larger team like Blue Springs we should be ready for anything we see at district next week,” Zarda said after her team fell to 15-9. “I was really excited about a lot of the aspects of tonight’s game. We really fought hard and never gave up against a team that is so quick – and their setter ran the show, and did a great job.
“We might have lost tonight, but we got a lot out of playing Blue Springs tonight and we play Bishop Miege this week, too.”
Blue Springs sophomore Chloe Kaminski and senior Cherray Wilson dominated on the front row as Kaminski finished with a team-high 11 kills. Wilson added nine kills and a team-high 15 digs.
“I always want to go out and do my best,” Wilson said, glancing at Kaminski, “and I want to play for the people playing with me. It was a good night, a very good night.”
Added Kaminski: “I had to work extra hard to get into the match because I tweaked my ankle, but once my adrenaline started flowing, I felt great out there.”
Senior Aliyah Bello, who had two of the Wildcats five aces, said this is how the Wildcats want to continue playing on into districts.
“We never want to play bad,” she said, grinning, “but we want to play this type of volleyball the rest of this week and in districts next week. We really played an all-around match tonight.”
The Wildcats improved to 19-10 with the victory.
Guardians junior setter Cali Bokenkroger was honored before the match as she is the first player in the three-year history of the school to surpass 1,000 career assists.
Colleen McNamara had 13 digs and Emma Foley added 11 against the Wildcats. Abby Salinski led the Guardians with six kills.