Not only is Freeburg still unbeaten at 3-0 in the Cahokia Conference volleyball standings, so is Bristol Kloess, the eight-month-old daughter of Midgets coach Brooke Kloess.
The younger Kloess was on hand Thursday night in Breese to witness Freeburg’s impressive 25-8, 25-15 league victory over the Central Cougars.
“It’s tough, especially since my husband (Dan Kloess) is the JV coach,” Brooke Kloess said after her team won its ninth match in the last 10 outings and improved to 13-3 overall. “She hasn’t missed a match at all. Luckily the girls are really good with her and all the parents help out with her, so she’s going to be a little gym rat, that’s for sure.”
The Midgets didn’t need much time to cruise past the Cougars as Hannah Bouas (seven kills) and Maddie Hurd (six kills) led the way along with Miranda Schulte (four kills).
Freeburg also got 17 assists from Abby Quirin and eight digs from Chasity Hill.
“I think the biggest reason we’re being successful right now is because they’re playing unselfishly,” said Kloess, who played college softball at McKendree University. “All my girls are happy for each other when they’re out there doing well. They are not playing as individuals, they are playing as a team and it’s really working for us.
“Right now we have a lot of weapons and I think we’re able to spread it out a lot; we’re not just relying on one person to get kills for us. A lot of girls are offensive threats right now — and we’re using all of them.”
Freeburg jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the first set and never looked back against the Cougars (4-6 overall, 1-2 in the conference).
Hill authored a seven-point service run during the early domination that included three quick kills by Hurd.
Central, playing without injured starter Carson Newkirk (broken finger) and starter Gracie Jasper (illness), had trouble matching the Midgets’ aggressive play at the net or their quickness. Central also committed 30 errors.
“We’ve had to change our lineup with injuries and we had a girl that got sick afternoon, so we’ve had to switch our lineup twice in the last two days,” first-year Central coach Crissy Toennies said. “It’s been a rough start for us. We only have the one player that has significant varsity experience and once we started getting things going with that, then we have the injuries and the sickness so we’re making some adjustments again.”
Central played much better in the second set and led 5-4 before the Midgets began to take control.
“We started closing our blocks in that second game and started picking up some balls,” Toennies said. “I think Freeburg looks great. They were fast. Their hitters came at us pretty fast and were reading the court well.”