SIOUX CITY, Iowa – All three sets were battles and the College of Saint Mary volleyball team won all three by the same score.
The Flames defeated Rocky Mountain College 27-25, 27-25 and 27-25 Thursday morning in CSM’s first pool play contest. The third team in Pool B – University of Jamestown – defeated Rocky Mountain 3-0 Wednesday morning to set up the winner-takes-all match of Pool B on Friday. CSM will square off vs. the Jimmies at 10 a.m. Friday to see which team advances to bracket play.
Even though all three sets Thursday were back-and-forth battles, the Flames never felt panicked. Both players and coaches thought CSM was prepared for that exact situation.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve really been practicing these pressure situations,” CSM hitter Lexie Langley (JR/Fremont, Neb.) said. “We felt very prepared today and I think that’s why we were able to come out successful.”
CSM Coach Rick Pruett agreed.
“We stayed out of scramble mode,” he said. “We were down set point in both the second and third sets, but we never got razzled. We showed a lot of grit. We had some matches mid-season where we were in this situation and so we changed up some practice scenarios the last few weeks.
“It was fun to see that we stayed aggressive and that we didn’t give up.”
Langley led the Flames with 14 kills. Teammate Kamryn Willman (SR/Grand Island, Neb.) tallied 12 kills, Makenna Freeman (SR/Omaha, Neb.) belted 11, Rachel Rosenquist (SO/Dakota Dunes, SD) had 10 and Mackenzie Vitosh (JR/Odell, Neb.) finished with eight. Setters Lauren Anderson (JR/Gretna, Neb.) and Miranda Ring (FR/Neola, Iowa) tossed up 28 and 24 assists, respectively. Libero Rachel Cushing (JR/Council Bluffs, Iowa) had 30 digs, while Langley added 15, Freeman chipped in with 13 and Ring finished with 10.
The Flames were all smiles after the match as they walked up into the bleachers to hug family and friends that made the trek to Tyson Event Center. But the ladies will get back to business tomorrow when they take on the No. 2-ranked Jimmies.
The Flames lost 3-2 to Jamestown back on Oct. 15.
“This is a new year and new season,” Langley said. “The regular season doesn’t matter anymore. We plan to win and advance to the elite eight. We feel really close as a team right now and we’re ready.”