TEUTOPOLIS – Teutopolis head coach Jessica Schackmann complemented Effingham for having “such a strong program” and it showed Monday night, as Effingham was the team to step up when it mattered.
At the end of a back-and-forth first set, during which Teutopolis trailed 9-5 and 18-12 only to come back and take the lead late, 21-20, Effingham stood strong at the end to win 25-22. Then, they dominated a 25-13 second set clincher.
“Effingham just has such a strong program and we're just trying to figure out how we're going to work together early this season,” Schackmann said of the first set. “They just finished (the set) before we could get there.”
For a while, it looked like Teutopolis might steal the first set, but it couldn't keep its scoring streaks going when it needed to.
Teutopolis climbed back into the set twice. Trailing 9-5, they battled to tie the set 10-10, but fell back 18-12 soon after; however, they scored seven consecutive points to take a 19-18 lead late in the set.
Effingham head coach Laurie Bohnoff said her team was frustrated in the first set by Teutopolis' “scrappy” play, coming up with digs to keep the ball alive during play.
“They did a great job keeping the ball alive and letting us make errors in that first game,” Bohnoff said. “We started tipping (balls) a little bit, and I don't think we needed to do that. We needed to continue hitting.”
Bohnoff said Teutopolis' aggressive serves caused problems for her team because it couldn't make good initial passes to set up its hitters, which Effingham improved on in the second set.
“We were giving them a little bit of hope,” Bohnoff said.
The competitive first set gave Teutopolis more than just hope, Schackmann said, it showed them that they could compete with tougher teams and bigger schools.