Cardinals stand firm in sweep of Almond-Bancroft
By Jacob Heid
ALMOND – On Almond-Bancroft volleyball’s parent night, the Eagles hosted the Pacelli Cardinals at Almond-Bancroft High School Oct. 3.
After a relatively quick opening set, the two teams battled closely, but Pacelli came away with the 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-16, 25-22).
Pacelli senior Casey Vaughan led the way with 10 kills, while junior Kaylin Yenter and senior Ava Olds had seven and six, respectively.
Junior Emma Reincke tallied 24 assists in the sweep as well.
Almond-Bancroft’s Riya Ceballos and Madalyn Potts had four kills each in the loss.
The Cardinals started the first set on fire with a 4-0 run to open things up.
The service line was a positive early for Pacelli, as an ace capped off a 9-0 run to put the visiting Cardinals ahead 17-5.
Pacelli had nine aces throughout the match.
Almond-Bancroft battled back to cut things to single digits, 22-14, on a hitting error by Pacelli.
An ace by senior Ava Olds ended a 3-0 spurt and a 25-14 set one win.
Pacelli got to another early 4-0 lead before the Eagles scored their first point to halt the early momentum.
A tight battle through the middle of the set saw Almond-Bancroft get within a point, 15-14 before the Cardinals started to pull away.
Junior Kaylin Yenter started a run with a booming kill down the left sideline.
The offense brought life when things got bumpy in the second set.
“Well, we didn’t quit,” Pacelli Head Coach Roy Danforth said. “Even though we got a little funky and we lost focus, we didn’t quit and that’s the important thing.”
That led to a 10-2 burst, and Pacelli took the second set to go up 2-0.
Almond-Bancroft caught the Cardinals on their toes in the third and grabbed an early lead.
An ace by Mya Dernbach and a hitting error by the Cardinals put the Eagles up 11-6 early in the third.
Danforth called a timeout back in the second when things started going Almond-Bancroft’s way, but he let things ride in the third.
He talked about the trust of having the players figure things out on the fly.
“They’ve got to figure that out themselves,” Danforth explained. “Sometimes they just know they have to focus, and they did, so that was the cool part.”
From there, the set stayed within three or four points as it headed to the late stages.
Pacelli held onto a 20-16 lead before the Eagles stormed back to close the gap to one.
The visiting Cardinals held a 24-21 lead after that, as a final kill ended things.
Pacelli is now 5-0 in the Central Wisconsin Conference-South. Its next match is at home vs. Marathon tonight, Oct. 5, at 7:15 p.m.
Almond-Bancroft fell to 2-4 in conference play and has another home match vs. Marion tonight at 6:30 p.m.