James Valley Christian’s Ariana Zuccaro plays a volley during a match on Thursday against Sunshine Bible Academy. In the next photo, Sunshine Bible Academy’s Hope Anderson plays a serve receive as teammate Sierra Young (14) looks on during their match against James Valley Christian in the opening round of the 281 Conference Volleyball Tournament at the JVC gym. PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — The James Valley Christian Lady Vikings packed on the heat with powerful serves and strong attacks at the net to overpower the Sunshine Bible Lady Crusaders 3-0 in the first round of the 281 Conference Volleyball Tournament Thursday evening at JVC Arena.
The Lady Vikings took control in the first match with offensive spiking attempts that the Lady Crusaders just couldn’t dig up. Then Tara Nihart served the first two aces on the night, and teammate Ariana Zuccaro followed her with three aces of her own. The Lady Vikings took control and kept it, resulting in a score of 25-7 at the end of the first set.
Again in the second set, Nihart continued to propel rocket serves across the net. In the third and final set, outside hitting was the key for the Lady Vikings as their outside and middle hitters mixed their spiking efforts with several well-placed tips that shook the Lady Crusaders’ defense. The score of the second set was 25-11. The Lady Vikings wrapped up the game with the third set, 25-15.
“We don’t want to be predictable, so we tried to keep the other defense guessing,” said Tim Nihart, head coach for the Lady Vikings. “We did really well at catching them off-guard tonight,” he said.
Leading servers for the Lady Vikings were Ariana Zuccaro with 4 aces, Tara Nihart with 4 aces and Hannah Loban with 2 aces.
Betsy Nelson led the offense with 9 kills, while Jaclyn Loban and Kristen Williams also had 8 kills each. Also contributing offensively was setter Tara Nihart with 24 assists. On the defensive side Ariana Zuccaro had 17 digs and Nihart had 15.
Nihart said he was pretty pleased with the way his team played. “I asked them to bring more energy and they did,” he said. “Tonight we brought the energy and we maintained it throughout all three matches.”
Leading servers for the Lady Crusaders were Tricia Wilken who was 7 for 7 with 1 ace and Erin Rogers who was 5 for 5 with 1 ace.
Tricia Wilken and Rebekah Konechne had two kills each. Rogers, Wilken and Sierra Young each had three digs. Cassie Beckwith led the Lady Crusaders’ in blocking with two.
In the other bracket, which was played in Forestburg on Thursday, top-seeded Sanborn Central-Woonsocket defeated No. 8 Iroquois and fourth-seeded Highmore-Harrold defeated Hitchcock-Tulare.
Statistics from the matches in the other bracket were not available.
The championship round will be played Saturday in Forestburg. Sanborn Central-Woonsocket will play Highmore-Harrold at 3 p.m. in the first semi-final game and James Valley Christian will play Wolsey-Wessington in the second semi-final game at 4:15 p.m.
The third-place game is slated for 5:30 p.m., with the championship game to follow at 6:45 p.m.
The consolation bracket will be played in Tulare on Saturday.
Hitchcock-Tulare will face Iroquois in the first game of the consolation semifinals at 3 p.m. with SBA and Wessington Springs meeting in the second at 4:15 p.m.
The seventh-place game is slated for 5:30 p.m., with the consolation championship to follow at 6:45 p.m.
JVC 25 25 25
SBA 7 11 15
Serving: Ariana Zuccaro 15/16, 4 aces; Tara Nihart 15/18, 4 aces; Hannah Loban 20/22, 2 aces.
Hitting: Betsy Nelson 14/16, 9 kills; Jaclyn Loban 16/20; 8 kills. Kristen Williams 14/16, 8 kills.
Setting: Tara Nihart 73/73, 24 assists.
Blocks: Julie Loewen 1.
Digs: Ariana Zuccaro 17; Tara Nihart 15.
Serving (24/27): Tricia Wilken 7/7, 1 ace; Erin Rogers 5/5, 1 ace.
Hitting: Wilken 10/12, 2 kills; Rebekah Konechne 10/12, 2 kills.
Setting: Sierra Young 9/11, 1 assist; Rogers 12/12.
Blocks: Cassie Beckwith 2; Shanna Moreland 1.
Digs: Wilken 3; Young 3; Rogers 3. For the complete article see the 09-28-2012 issue.
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