By ERIC VICCARO
The Ste. Genevieve High School volleyball team were primed to extend Valle Catholic to a fifth set.
The Dragons were up 16-12 in the fourth set during the “Old Settlement Showdown” match on Monday, Oct. 11, at Peggy J. Johnson Gymnasium.
However, Valle Catholic’s net play proved too much for Ste. Genevieve, and the Warriors defeated the Dragons 14-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-20.
While Ste. Genevieve dominated Valle Catholic during matches from the 2020 season, including winning the Mineral Area Activities Association postseason tournament, this year provided a different outcome.
“We came out strong in Set One against Valle, and played consistently,” Ste. Genevieve head coach Carla Basler said.
Basler said the Dragons (16-8-1 record) passed their best in the first set — and again early in the fourth salvo — when Ste. Genevieve commanded the lead.
However, green-and-white struggled to remain consistent. And the Dragons “just made too many errors to pull off the win,” Basler said.
Still, Ste. Genevieve had a competitive showing in what could be a preview of both the conference and district tournament championship matches.
Valle Catholic played with presence, and wound up limiting Ste. Genevieve to a .090 hitting efficiency. The Dragons committed 28 hitting errors, which proved to be the difference.
Ste. Genevieve tried to stuff Valle Catholic in the middle of the front row, which Warrior head coach Nancy Fischer called a sound strategy — with A.J. Prudent accounting for a whopping seven solo ace blocks.
However, Valle Catholic changed up its attack by moving it out to the wings, both left and right.
Dru Koetting paced the Dragon attack with 11 kills. Abby Moore pounded down 10 kills, and teammate Elizabeth Basler had nine. Moore and Basler also chipped in with two solo ace blocks each.
Devyn Basler distributed 35 assists, and libero Maya Watts was the lone Dragon to produce a double-digit performance in digs (16). Arie Taylor, Lexy Parmer, Basler and Moore all contributed six digs.
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