Crosstown matchups always seem to add that extra excitement.
In Tuesday's contest between St. Anthony and Effingham, that was the case, as the Bulldogs defeated the Flaming Hearts in three sets. St. Anthony lost the first 27-25, won the second 25-15, and won the third 25-23.
“We’ve been working on transition on and off the net and getting ready to terminate the ball,” St. Anthony head coach Cathy Wenthe said. “Working on winning, not just playing.”
After a two-set loss to South Central last Thursday, St. Anthony (1-1) had four days off to regroup, which seemed to serve the Bulldogs well. St. Anthony slammed 35 kills while outhitting the Flaming Hearts by 15.
“We spread it around,” Wenthe said. “Abbi Hatton did a great job; she hit .143. Lucy Fearday in the South Central match struggled, and she hit .368. Maddie Kibler hit .286.”
Altogether, five different Bulldogs recorded five kills or more, and two recorded 10 or more.
Ada Rozene led the team with 11, while Lucy Fearday had 10. Abbi Hatton finished with six, and Andrea Rudiolphi had five.
Yet, even with multiple players having quality offensive nights, one that stood out to Wenthe was libero Elizabeth Kabbes, who did more than what the box score indicated.
“I love her. She’s awesome,” Wenthe said. “Last night [during practice], she tweaked her hamstring, but she passed a .212, which is pretty good. Last year, as a team, we passed .194. So, we’re working on it.”
Other notable performances from St. Anthony included 31 assists from Anna Faber and three aces from Rozene.
As for Effingham (0-2), the Flaming Hearts suffered their second-straight three-set loss, with service errors playing a role in the outcome.
“The problem in that last game was that we had five-or-six missed serves,” Effingham head coach Theresa Vogt said. “Whenever we lose by two, you can’t have five-or-six missed serves. If we make our serves, then that’s a whole different ballgame.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ll do something like getting a great block, and then we’ll go back and miss our serve. We have a really hard time of doing something great and following up with something not so great.”
However, even with the number of mistakes, they still gave themselves a puncher’s chance in the end.
Facing a match point situation, senior Lexi Chrappa slammed the ball down the line, pushing the deficit to one at 24-23. Chrappa led the team with eight kills.
“Lexi hit it on the line, and we said that the line was open all day long,” Vogt said. “She finally got her line shot.”
Like most good things for Effingham on this night, though, a mistake followed. The Flaming Hearts ended the match with a service error, marking the second-straight gut-wrenching loss for Effingham and leading to the St. Anthony bench rushing the floor to congratulate the team.
The Flaming Hearts host Mt. Zion on Thursday, while the Bulldogs play at Robinson.