Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who’s next?

Coupling bruising power with precision passing, Eudora has overwhelmed all takers and now is ready for the next test

September 21, 2006

The Cardinal volleyball team continues to make winning look easy.

After playing matches against Central Heights, Prairie View and Osawatomie, the Cards have improved their record to 11-0.

Coach Jill Stutler said the team performed well Tuesday evening in Eudora as they swept a quadrangular stocked with Frontier League teams.

"We just didn't make many silly mistakes this week," Stutler said. "We played better defense, passed well and had a better ball control than the other teams."

In the match against Central Heights, the Cards made quick work their opponents, winning 25-7 in the first game and 25-3 in the second.

The Prairie View match offered the Cards a little bit tougher test, but only a little bit. Eudora still made it look easy, allowing Prairie View 11 points in the first game and 16 in the second.

Finally, the Cards played Osawatomie. The Cards won the first game 25-13 and ensured they'd finish the night in as few games as possible, taking the second game and the match 25-7.

With heavy hitters Erin Kracl, Nikki Snider and Haley Epperson providing powerful swings and what Stutler termed a quality all around effort, Eudora had little trouble staying perfect.

Stutler said in addition to not volleying over many easily returnable balls, the team also utilized strong offensive maneuvers in the third match.

"We kept emphasizing our tempo, and when we can play at our tempo, we create better opportunities," Stutler said.

Although Erin Kracl once again made her presence felt with a total of 22 kills at the meet, two other girls also proved themselves to be formidable. Snider led the way with 26 kills, and Epperson had 13.

Stutler said in spite of the victories, there were a few things that needed to be tweaked in the coming days before the team's next competition. She said maintaining good ball control was absolutely essential, so the team was going to practice going hard after ball and keeping it in control.

In all, this was the first home quadrangular the team has had this season and only the second home action at all. Stutler said playing at the home court is exciting but not a necessary condition for winning.

"It's great to have the crowd behind your back and cheering you on," Stutler said. "But we're a team that can play well anywhere."

The Cards are set to play again 8 a.m. Saturday at the season's first tournament in Tonganoxie. Stutler said the level of competition the Cards would see Saturday would be much higher than it has been.

"The girls know this is a big weekend," Stutler said. "It's our first tournament, and we're ready to see teams that will challenge us."

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