Young Rebels drop season opener in three games

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, August 25, 2022

ADAMS – The Southland volleyball team is young and undersized, but it is ready for some growth on the court this season.

After dropping their season opener by scores of 25-16, 25-12, 25-11 to Spring Grove Thursday, the Rebels know there is plenty of work to do.

The Rebels started all three games with a big deficit, but they were able to bounce back every time to finish stronger than they started. The Lions scored the first three points of the night, before Southland tied it at 4-4 on a kill by Breeley Galle, and SG went on to lead 9-1 in the second and third games.

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I knew we were going to have nerves tonight, there was no doubt about that,” Southland head coach Michelle Nelsen said. “Our three freshmen aren’t totally experienced yet and it was the first varsity game for a few of them. I thought we did some good things. Our libero (Ava Payne) is going to develop well and she’s got some jitters that she needs to work out.”

Southland (0-1 overall) was playing the match without senior captain Bria Nelsen, who will return soon to give the team some leadership.

“We’re looking for a little bit more leadership and a little bit more confidence,” Nelsen said.

While they are inexperienced, the Rebels have the advantage of having a lot of court time together at the JV level last season.

“Brining one (young player) up is hard, but bringing them up together helps,” Nelsen said. “They are gelling in practice and this is only the start of what we have to offer. The more they play, the better they’ll get.”

Southland stats: Ava Payne 4 digs; Breeley Galle 4 kills, 1 block; Julia Kiefer 4 assists; Katelyn McCabe 3 kills, 5 digs; Maren Wehrenberg 5 assists; Nora Schmitz 3 digs; Shannon Kiefer 2 blocks