Packer volleyball team scores a big win over SouthlandPublished 10:45pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The Packer volleyball team had one last chance to achieve one of its preseason goals in Packer Gym Tuesday night, and they made good on that chance.
Austin matched intensity with a scrappy Southland squad as it came through with its first home win of the season by scores of 25-21, 26-28, 25-11, 25-15 on senior night.
“We’ve been dying for this win ever since we were freshmen,” said Austin senior Erin Dankert, who had a season-high seven kills. “It’s really great to get it now in our last home match.”
The Packers (3-19 overall) scored five of the last six points to win the first game, but the Rebels (6-18 overall) pushed Austin as hard as they could in the second game.
The Packers held leads of 25-24 and 26-25, but they couldn’t hammer down game point. There was a moment where the Packers thought they had won the game, but Southland made a big dig that led to the point that tied it up 26-26. The Rebels went on to take a 27-26 lead on an ace serve by Maddi Loecher.
While game two was intense, the Packers bounced back with one of their best match games of the season. Austin sophomore Shayley Vesel put the Packers in control when she used a jump serve to lead Austin to seven straight points from the serving line and put them up 20-6.
“The kids answered back very nicely,” Austin head coach Cindy Owen said. “That’s something we’ve been working on all season. Although we lost that one, they didn’t give up and they didn’t quit. I felt a good, positive energy going into that third game.”
Game four was tied at 15-15, but Austin scored the last 10 points to secure the victory.
Austin junior Mer Gach had a career-high 12 kills in the win to go along with her five ace blocks.
“We just battled and we never stopped. We kept going,” Gach said. “We came out focused on getting a win tonight.”
Owen was pleased with the effort of entire squad in the win.
“It was a total team effort. It didn’t matter if it was the six on the floor or the players on the bench. They wanted this,” she said.
Southland head coach Andrea McKichan was pleased with her team’s effort in game two, but she was hoping they would keep it up for the rest of the night.
“I wish we could’ve keep up that level of play for the whole night,” she said.
Morgan Schmitz had eight kills and 17 digs for Southland and sophomore Olivia Gray had 12 kills.
Austin stats: Rachel Wahlert, 12 points serving; Kelsey Sederquest, 11 points serving, 12 digs, 4 ace serves; Erin Dankert, 7 kills, 11 points serving, 3 ace serves; Mer Gach, 12 points, 5 ace blocks, 2 ace serves, 11 points serving; Shayley Vesel, 7 kills, 9 set assists, 4 ace serves; Marissa Hart, 5 set assists
Southland stats: Kaitlyn Kirtz, 13 set assists, 10 digs, 1 ace serve; Maddi Loecher, 9 digs, 8 set assists, 2 ace serves; Morgan Schmitz, 8 kills, 17 digs, 1 ace serve; Oliva Gray, 12 kills, 6 digs, 1 ace serve; Katlin Webber, 3 kills, 10 digs