Small but mighty, the Gibault Hawks claimed another victim on Wednesday at Freeburg High School.
Senior Lauren Goldschmidt hammered down 13 kills and junior Kelly Dooley added 10 more as Gibault put a damper on Senior Night for the Midgets with a 25-20, 25-21 win in a battle of small school volleyball powers.
One of the premier Class 1A teams in the metro-east, Gibault (20-9) rallied to win game one after squandering a big lead, then broke free from the Midgets in game two on a late three-point service run by Lauren Schmidt.
When Dooley connected on her 10th and final kill of the night on match point, the Hawks had another big win over a perennial metro-east volleyball heavyweight.
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“We’re a very small team and so we’re used to playing bigger schools,” Hawks coach Heather Lazarides said. “It’s not a big deal to us. Tonight I thought we came out and blocked very well. We spend a lot of time on the blocking aspect of the game and while we had some serving errors late in the second game I thought we stayed aggressive with out serving.
“When you are aggressive you are going to make errors. You won’t see our team hit many floaters and again staying aggressive with the serve is something we want to do and something we work on and stress.”
A slow start for Freeburg
Plagued by errors and the inability to hit over the Hawks’ quick-leaping blockers, Freeburg (18-10) fell behind 12-5 in game one. But after a three-point service runs by Megan Schaller and Emily Schaller cut the Hawks lead to 15-13, Freeburg took its first lead of the night with Abby Quirin serving.
After a block by Miranda Schulte tied the game at 15, a block by Savanna Stevens and a kill by Schulte gave the Midgets their biggest lead of the game at 17-15. But it didn’t last.
An ace by Gibault’s Ashley Grohmann tied the game at 18 seconds later and when Goldschmidt had a kill which was followed by a pair of Freeburg hitting errors, the Hawks had the lead for good at 20-18.
Seconds later Caralyn Papenberg had an ace and Gibault was up a set.
“We knew coming in that Gibault was a good team and they blocked very well tonight,” Midgets coach Brooke Kloess said. “It just seems like when we get into a close match against a good team, our hitters become a little timid and I really don’t have an explanation for it. We’ve got some younger girls playing but I also have eight seniors and so we’ve got some experience. I’m not going make excuses.
“If just seems like when we need to really go for our shots, we’re holding back a little bit.”
Hawks close it out
Game two was close early with neither the Hawks or Midgets leading by more then two points.
Freeburg eventually broke that trend when with Megan Schaller serving, a kill and a block by Maddie Hurd, followed by a kill by Jenny Homann, put the Midgets up 13-10.
But later when Dooley served consecutive aces and when the Midgets followed a short time later with three straight hitting errors, Gibault took the lead for good.
A kill by Goldschmidt put the Hawks up 20-17 and the Midgets would get no closer then two points the rest of the night.