Duo with differing styles helps Truman blank Bears
Outside hitter Gabby Kurle is all grace and finesse while middle hitter and setter Sarina Ulberg is power personified.
Together, the two Truman High School volleyball standouts were too much for William Chrisman to handle in a convincing 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 Suburban Middle Six Conference win over the host Bears Tuesday night.
The two longtime Noland Road rivals are now in the same conference for the first time in many years as the Patriots improved to 5-4-1 and 1-0 while the Bears fell to 4-3 and 0-1.
“Gabby and Sarina really complement each other,” Truman volleyball coach David Gardner said, “and they’re both very good players. Sarina is so strong and Gabby just does everything. That’s why they never leave the court. They’re fun to watch and they’re both great kids, too.
“I was really pleased with the way we played tonight. We work a lot on our serving and I thought that was one of the bright spots tonight.”
Kurle served three consecutive aces in the first set win and Ulberg added two, and both played key roles defensively and offensively. Truman finished with nine aces in the three set sweep.
“I like to serve a floating serve, which has a lot of movement and is hard to return,” Kurle said. “And I love to make a good defensive plays, a dig that keeps a rally going and fires up the team.”
Ulberg nodded in agreement and added, “My serve is heavy and has a top spin. It’s a lot different from Gabby’s, but they were both effective tonight.”
While Truman enjoyed success in all phases of the game, the Bears were their own worst enemy as many of the Chrisman comebacks were thwarted by serves that traveled well past the back stripe.
“We were pumped up tonight – maybe a little bit too pumped up,” Bears coach Mary Lile said. “It was a big match, against a big rival and a very good team and I think our girls were just trying a little bit too hard.
“But we can take some positives away front tonight because they never gave up and made some nice rallies in all the sets.”
Ulberg led the Patriots with 10 kills while Nicole Davis added 22 digs and Elle Schramm dished out 15 assists.
Mele Toala led the Bears with seven kills while Courtney Taylor and Brooklyn Burkey added seven assists.