La SALLE — Serve-receive is always a key in volleyball.
Playing against a strong serving team that hasn’t lost a set this season, it’s especially important.
The Sycamore volleyball team struggled in the first set with serve-receive, and although the Spartans improved in the second, it wasn’t enough in a 25-11, 25-15 loss to La Salle-Peru in an Interstate Eight Conference match.
“La Salle-Peru is a very skilled team,” Sycamore coach Jennifer Charles said. “We knew we had to rise to the occasion. We’ve been in kind of a lull right now, but for the most part, I was happy with the pace of the game we had throughout the match. Serve-receive did get better in the second set. That’s going to be key for us throughout the season.
“We just have to be confident on serve-receive and want the ball every single time someone serves it to us. I thought offensively when we were in system, the girls did a very good job of creating shots for themselves knowing La Salle-Peru plays a different style of defense than we’ve seen all year.”
The Spartans hung with L-P early in the first set and trailed only 10-9 before Central Michigan University recruit Kamryn Olson stepped to the service line.
Sophomore Caylee Sharkey led the Spartans (3-9, 1-2 I8) with four kills, while senior Kylie Feuerbach put down three kills.
Olson rattled off six straight points, including three aces, to propel the Lady Cavaliers to a 17-10 lead and a 15-2 run to close the set.
The second set was tight early on as well before L-P’s Paige Champlin served four straight points for an 11-6 lead.
“We played so well together,” L-P coach Mark Haberkorn said. “I really like how the team gelled out there. Our serving got them out of system and we just kept attacking. We served aggressive. We served short and served long. We hit our spots.
“We finished strong (in the first set) and the same thing happened in the second set. We got to a point where all of a sudden we turned it on. We played s smooth.”