NU spikers finding roles; notch first win of season

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North Union’s Journey Blevins leaps for a hit during a volleyball match against Ridgemont on Tuesday. Blevins tallied 14 kills during the Cats’ 3-0 sweep over the Lady Gophers.

(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)

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The North Union Lady Cat spikers notched their first win of the season with a 3-0 sweep over Ridgemont  on Tuesday.

NU claimed the victory with scores of 25-16, 25-16, 25-18.

The Lady Cats took an early lead over the visiting Golden Gophers in set one  by keeping their mistakes to a minimum.

They also capitalized on the chances Ridgemont gave them.

The road to victory in the opening game wasn’t all smooth sailing as the Lady Gophers made a late push for points after NU miscues.

North Union head coach Peg Curts said the loss of five seniors has led to a lot of new players trying to find their role on the team.

“We are definitely trying to get into the groove with the clientele that we have this season,” she said. “We had five seniors who graduate last year, so we are having to make some adjustments.

“We are still learning how to work together as a team.”

Despite Ridgemont’s push, NU took a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Cats opened the ensuing game with a strong effort from middle hitter Journey Blevins.

Jordyn Hoffman set up the heavy hits for Blevins that gave the Cats a 6-3 lead.

Curts said the plan for the set really worked out as she called the sets from the sideline.

“I was calling serves tonight and they were hitting their zones where they needed to,” she said. “During the end of the second set and into the third game, I started calling sets.

“The girls seem to be more intense when I call sets instead of serves.”

NU’s defense got into the mix during the second set with some solid blocking from the duo of Gabby Ziegler and Grace Brandt.

Their work gave North Union a 13-7 margin.

The Lady Cats maintained their lead all the way through the set victory.

Even with the 2-0 advantage, the early-season woes were present for the young team.

Curts said it is all part of developing her team’s talent.

“We have our goals set that we want to get stronger and better with every game,” she added. “Communication is such a huge part of volleyball that you have to talk to one another all the time.

“It’s an issue for all three (varsity-JV-freshman ) of our teams.”

The Lady Gophers kept the match tight in set three, pulling to within 16-14.

A couple of long hits from Ridgemont bumped the score to 19-14 in NU’s favor.

Blevins’ well-placed hit to an empty back corner of the court gave the Lady Cats a 21-14 lead.

Curt’s added that it was nice to see her players finding their roles on the floor.

“I just want them to do what their role is on the court,” she said. “We have talked before that if everybody trusts each other and plays the role that they have on the court, then together as a whole we will become a really strong team.”

A couple of hits from Hoffman and Blevins completed the sweep for the Lady Cats.

North Union will return to action Thursday at Kenton.



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