SUTTON — During the nightcap of Thursday’s triangular at Sutton High School, the Fillies’ head coach Shelli Mohnike yelled something to her team in the second set that caught its attention.
The Sutton coach was frustrated with her team’s mistakes, and needed her team to understand that Doniphan-Trumbull wasn’t playing that much better than it was, despite the margin that separated them.
After a Cardinal point that came off of a Sutton error, Mohnike used the opportunity to let her team know Doniphan-Trumbull had more points off of errors than actual in system plays.
That was the story of the evening for the Fillies, who dropped both of their matches in a triangular with Class C-2 No. 2 Grand Island Central Catholic and D-T.
The Crusaders, who had the day off from school and hadn’t played in a week, didn’t look their best, or their most energized, but swept the Fillies 25-19, 25-13, and the Cardinals 25-10, 25-21.
The nightcap, which Doniphan-Trumbull stole in three sets 20-25, 26-24, 25-17, provided both teams a chance to reset after their losses to GICC.
Both of the programs are young and lacking varsity experience. The Cardinals boast just five upperclassmen, two of which are seniors. The Fillies have a handful of juniors and a few seniors, but the program’s volleyball IQ hasn’t been where it needs to be, and the team is lacking a little confidence in the early going, despite their record being above .500.
Sutton played perhaps its cleanest set to open the match with D-T. The Fillies were mostly in system, and rode Kylie Baumert’s right arm to a set one win.
Baumert, who led all scorers with 13 kills, pounded eight in the first set. She and setter Kate Griess were on the same page, and Griess found her big swinger often.
But the tide changed in the final two sets. Doniphan-Trumbull got its blocks up and slowed down the Filly attack.
The Cardinals notched eight blocks in the match, four of which came in set three.
“Our block was on tonight. This was the best blocking game we’ve had. The girls are learning the technique. We have a big block, so we just need to get our hands up,” D-T head coach Gina Fitch said.
Baumert managed just five kills after her hot start. Griess tried to pick up the slack with five kills in the middle set, but it wasn’t enough. Lydia Rogers scored four times in the third set to push her match total to eight, but Sutton’s mistakes overshadowed all.
“We just had a lot of errors. They were hard to overcome, and it was just hard to get back into system,” Mohnike said.
Nine of Doniphan-Trumbull’s first 15 points in the second set were errors committed by the Fillies. Twelve of the Cardinals’ 25 points in the third set were thanks to Sutton mistakes as well.
“We just weren’t able to put all the pieces together in games two and three,” Mohnike said.
“Those were huge for us,” Fitch said of the errors. “The biggest thing was to keep that momentum, because if you let a team like (Sutton) back into it, they have the talent to take advantage of that. If they get a point we had to get two or three, and the girls did a really good job of that tonight.
“We’ll be a team that surprises people down the road, but we just need to win matches that I think that we can win. And I think we probably should have won that game.”
Doniphan-Trumbull earned just its second win of the season when it beat Sutton. Fitch said to this point it’s been all about getting the girls up to speed on how to compete at the varsity level. They got a good taste of that against powerhouse GICC.
“You can tell that we’re getting into the season and starting to figure things out,” Fitch said. “As a whole, this was the best that we’ve played as a group. We’ve had spurts where we’ve done really well, but then we get kind of in our own heads and we just don’t have that experience to pull ourselves out of big holes yet.”
The opening set has been an area where the Cardinals have struggled this season, and Thursday was no different. But D-T has shown its ability to be resilient with its back against the wall.
“We’ve looked so flat that first game, and we just come out of it in that second set,” Fitch said. “It’s like a new group of girls. We’re just so young, we don’t know how to deal with the level of play...Having games like this, they’re just going to have more and more confidence each time they step on the court.”
Doniphan-Trumbull graduated an impactful class this spring. The Cardinals aren’t necessarily at square one, but it’s been a trying couple of weeks to open the year compared to years past. Fitch said the biggest thing is just building trust and confidence amongst the blended group of girls.
“For most of them it’s the first year of varsity,” she said. “It’s a big jump to the level of competition we play...There’s so much potential in the group of younger girls. Having a lot of little mistakes sometimes frustrates the older girls but they have to remind themselves we’re young and we’re learning.”
Maddie Smith, one of D-T’s three seniors, finished with 11 kills. Sophomore Sophie Fitch tallied nine kills, a solo block, and two block assists. Junior Madison Shimmin had 18 assists.
GICC was led by Avery Kalvoda, who published 16 kills between the two matches. Gracie Woods totaled 13 kills, and Allison Kalvoda managed 11. Katie Maser dished out a total of 41 assists.
GICC (3-1).........25 25
Sutton (4-2).......19 13
Lauryn Willman 0-0-0, Kate McFarland 0-1-0, Avery Kalvoda 8-0-0, Allison Kalvoda 7-0-0, Katie Maser 1-1-0, Chloe Cloud 2-0-2, Gracie Woods 6-0-0, Haily Asche 0-1-0, Rylie Rice 0-0-0. Totals: 24-3-2.
Assists — Maser 20, Cloud 1, Rice 1, Al. Kalvoda 1.
Dayvie Perrien 0-0-0, Lydia Rogers 5-1-1/2, Tara Overturf 0-0-0, Reagan Vavricek 1-1-0, Kylie Baumert 6-1-0, Kate Griess 2-0-0, Julia Geroge 0-0-1/2, Melaney Nuss 0-0-1. Totals: 14-3-2.
Assists — Overturf 6, Griess 6.
D-T (1-5)...........10 21
GICC (4-1)..........25 25
Kendyl Brummond 0-0-0, Madison Shimmin 1-0-0, Maddie Smith 4-0-0, Sophie Fitch 2-1-0, Danae Rader 2-0-0, Madie Osler 1-0-2, Dylan Hassett 2-0-1, Grace Schultz 0-0-0. Totals: 12-1-3.
Assists — Shimmin 8, Fitch 1, Schultz 1.
Lauryn Willman 1-2-0, Kate McFarland 0-1-0, Avery Kalvoda 8-1-0, Allison Kalvoda 4-0-0, Katie Maser 4-2-0, Chloe Cloud 4-0-1, Gracie Woods 7-2-0, Rylie Rice 1-0-0, Courtney Toner 0-0-0, Haily Asche 0-0-0. Totals: 28-8-1.
Assists — Maser 21, Rice 1, McFarland 1, Av. Kalvoda 1.
D-T (2-5).........20 26 25
Sutton (4-3)......25 24 17
Kendyl Brummond 0-1-0, Madison Shimmin 1-0-1, Maddie Smith 11-1-1/2, Sophie Fitch 9-0-2 1/2, Danae Rader 1-1-1, Madie Osler 1-0-1/2, Dylan Hassett 0-2-2 1/2, Grace Schultz 0-0-0, Kylie Horne 0-0-0. Totals: 23-5-8.
Assists — Shimmin 18, Osler 1, Hassett 1.
Dayvie Perrien 0-0-0, Lydia Rogers 8-0-0, Tara Overturf 0-0-0, Reagan Vavricek 3-2-0, Julie George 4-0-1 1/2, Kylie Baumert 13-1-1 1/2, Kate Griess 8-0-0, Melaney Nuss 1-0-0. Totals: 37-3-3.
Assists — Griess 20, Overturf 9, Perrien 1, Baumert 1.