Crusaders breeze through SEISC pool play

BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
PCC SPORTS

WAPELLO — Busy is good for the Holy Trinity volleyball team.
The Crusaders swept through their group in the opening night of the SEI Superconference tournament, winning all four matches.
That is on top of the five they won at the Holy Trinity Classic on Monday.
Now, on Saturday, the Crusaders, ranked fifth in Class 1A, head to the final eight of the conference tournament, hoping to play three more matches and bring home a championship.
“It’s been a busy week for these kids,” Holy Trinity coach Melissa Freesmeier said. “Just being able to come in and do what we did tonight was great.”
The Crusaders didn’t lose a game, defeating Danville (21-7, 21-9), Lone Tree (21-7, 21-3), Wapello (21-11, 21-14) and Hillcrest Academy (21-8, 21-6). They didn’t lose a game in any of their matches on Monday as well.
“Good teams have to keep going,” Freesmeier said. “We want to be playing. This was a good opportunity to see what we’re made of. I think the kids are responding and doing well.”
The Crusaders (14-3) had a balanced offensive attack. Sophomore Mary Kate Bendlage led Holy Trinity with 24 kills, while Brooke Mueller had 16, Natalie Randolph had 11, and Kassi Randolph had 10.
“The girls did some really good things,” Freesmeier said. “We mixed it up again (on offense). I thought we were a little flat at times, but you’ll have that.”
The Crusaders also were accurate on their serving. They had 32 aces — Mueller had 10 and Anna Sobczak had seven to lead the way.
“We were very aggressive,” Freesmeier said. “Everybody who steps behind that service line has the confidence to do things. That’s a big part of our team — take the other team out of their offense. I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
Kassi Randolph had 32 assists, while Natalie Randolph had 19 assists. Sobczak had 25 digs, and Kayla Box and Natalie Randolph each had three blocks.
The final round of the conference tournament includes No. 1 (Class 1A) Notre Dame, No. 10 (Class 1A) New London and No. 8 (Class 3A) West Burlington.
“It’s another test,” Freesmeier said. “The conference is tough. We’re going to see it Saturday night. But that’s what you want to see this time of year, so we can get better.
“We know it’s busy this time of year, and we like it that way. It’s been fun.”

Stats:
KILLS
Kassi Randolph 10, Kayla Box 5, Natalie Randolph 11, Mary Kate Bendlage 24, Reagan Holvoet 8, Brooke Mueller 16.
ASSISTS
Kassi Randolph 32, Anna Sobczak 7, Natalie Randolph 19, Mary Kate Bendlage 1, Brooke Mueller 1
SERVING
Kassi Randolph 25-26 (5 aces), Taegan Denning 18-18, Anna Sobczak 39-40 (7 aces), Natalie Randolph 21-22 (3 aces), Laura Mehmert 17-19 (4 aces), Brooke Mueller 31-33 (10 aces)
DIGS
Kassi Randolph 14, Kayla Box 3, Taegan Denning 3, Anna Sobczak 25, Teagan Snaadt 6, Natalie Randolph 13, Laura Mehmert 1, Mary Kate Bendlage 8, Brooke Mueller 15.
BLOCKS
Kayla Box 3, Natalie Randolph 3, Reagan Holvoet 2.

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