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VANDALIA – It was the statement win the Lady Vandals have been needing this season.
Though it was a nonconference game, last Thursday’s 25-16, 25-23 win against rival Pana should show the Lady Vandals that they can compete with strong teams.
“It was a big confidence-booster for us tonight,” said coach Allison Hall. “We talked in the locker room about serving aggressively and attacking from all three areas equally, and we did a heck of a job of that.”
Junior Johanna Walton had nine kills in what Hall consider her best offensive game of the season, and senior Megan Godoyo followed with eight.
Godoyo’s biggest contribution, however, may have come when she served five straight points in the second set to give Vandalia a lead.
Returning to a jump serve – which she used early in the season before struggling to keep the ball inbounds – Godoyo served back-to-back aces, and Pana had trouble containing the next three serves as the Lady Vandals (11-5) took a 10-8 lead.
“She has been struggling with her serve, but tonight she served at the top of her game,” Hall said.
Pana would recover, though, retaking the lead just three points later and holding as much as a four-point lead before Vandalia rallied for a late comeback.
Junior Jessica Sullens tied the set at 22 with a kill, and that was followed by a block by Walton and a block by Pana. Vandalia had three blocks in the second set and five during the match.
Ally Sasse, a junior, made it 24-23 with her first kill of the game, and the match ended when a Pana player was in the net during an attack.
“If we continue to play at this level between now and the rest of the year, we are going to win a lot of games,” Hall said.
The 23 kills for the Lady Vandals are tied for the second-most recorded in a two-set match this season, and Hall that the game was the best offensive performance of the season.
Others who contributed to the offensive attack were sophomore Makayla Tinker (three) and junior Kadi Metzger (one).
“We did a nice job of varying hits, tips and roll shots,” Hall said. “We’ve been working on it, working on it, working on it, and finally tonight we attacked the ball.”
The opening set was close throughout the first 22 points, with Vandalia breaking the 11-11 tie with kills on three of the next four points, and a run of Pana errors allowed the Lady Vandals to win the lopsided set.
Thursday, Sept. 26
Vandalia 25, Pana 16
Vandalia 25, Pana 23
Kills: Walton, 9; Godoyo, 8; Tinker, 3; Metzger, 1; Sasse, 1; Sullens, 1.
Aces: Godoyo, 2; Metzger, 1; Sullens, 1.
Assists: Sullens, 20; Godoyo, 1; Metzger, 1.
Blocks: Walton, 2; Metzger, 1½; Sullens, 1½.