BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
DONNELLSON – Central Lee’s volleyball team got to play in its new gym for the first time on Tuesday night.
The 25-15, 25-13, 25-11 loss to top-ranked (Class 1A) and defending state champion Notre Dame was another lesson in the young season for the Hawks.
“Notre Dame, they’re a state champion team, so they’re good,” Central Lee coach Amy Cook said. “We want to play people like that. It’s only going to make us better.”
The new gym was finished just hours before the match — the bleachers were finished late Monday night, and the fire marshal inspection was completed Tuesday morning. So the Hawks didn’t have much time to get acquainted with their new home.
“It’s nice to be in here — it was our first time to be in here, too,” Cook said. “We’re very fortunate to have this, for sure.”
The Hawks (3-4 overall, 0-2 SEI Superconference South Division) stayed close to the Nikes (14-4, 2-0) in the early part of each of the three games before Notre Dame would go on big runs. The Nikes scored seven consecutive points to erase a 7-6 lead to Central Lee in the opening game, 10 consecutive points after being up 14-12 in the second game, and the final eight points of the third game.
“They can spray the court pretty good,” Cook said. “Our passing wasn’t there to where we could run a quick offense. We need to hone in on that, too.”
Gabriella Deery led Notre Dame with nine kills, while Joslyn Bentz had five. Meghan Hopp led Central Lee with six kills and eight digs.
It is still early in the season, and quite early in the life of the Hawks’ new home. The victories, Cook said, will come with work.
“We need to work more on our passing, and sealing the block,” Cook said. “The girls are good, they recognize what they need to (work on), and we’ll get better.”