SUTTON — Sutton’s game plan didn’t change from Saturday, but its execution did.
Facing St. Cecilia for the second straight match after the teams met for the Fillmore Central invite title, the Class C-2 No. 4 Fillies made sure their intensity was high and the details were sound.
Those two elements helped avenge a three-set loss on Saturday and turn round two into a three-set win over the D-1 No. 3 Hawkettes Thursday.
“I don’t think we executed our plan as much as we wanted to on Saturday,” said Sutton coach Shelli Mohnike, whose team prevailed 25-17, 29-27, 25-21 in the top 10 battle.
“We kept a lot of our focus the same and just played with a lot more intensity.”
The latter was challenging in the weekend finale, the end of an 11-game-in-11-days stretch for the Fillies (15-2).
Saturday’s match lacked aggressiveness at the net on Sutton’s part, but Tuesday’s rematch did not.
“When all of our girls are swinging away, we’re just a better team in general,” Mohnike said. “At the end of that two weeks, it was just hard for us to keep swinging with that energy as much as we would have needed.”
That said, the coach was quick to credit St. Cecilia (8-6) for handing the Fillies just their second loss of the season.
“I’m not surprised we split with St. Cecilia,” Mohnike said. “They’re a good team.”
And with the Hawkettes down in D-1 this season, the Fillies won’t have to worry about a potential third meeting in the postseason.
That means no more Ryann Sabatka versus Alivia Huxoll matchups — two of Tribland’s best.
Sabatka had 16 kills in their first match, but was neutralized to just six on Thursday.
The Fillies’ defense dug the majority of Sabatka’s attacks from the middle. Most of her success came on a slide to the right pin.
“She’s tough to defend because, like Alivia, she doesn’t (always) hit the same thing,” Mohnnike said.
Huxoll posted the match-high 12 kills, six in the third set following a slow start. Lily McCroden added nine and Jacee Haight six to fill the void of Carly Skalka, who suffered an ankle sprain on the very first point of the match.
St. Cecilia utilized other options beside Sabatka — primarily Jill Parr (10 kills) and Brynn Weeks (7) — but couldn’t pack enough of a punch in a mostly out of system offense to swipe even a set from Sutton this go-around.
“We made a lot of errors,” said St. Cecilia coach Kelan Schumacher. “In big moments, too.”
The Hawkettes’ coach specifically referenced the second set, which ultimately swung the momentum — and eventually the match — towards the Fillies.
STC held set point twice, at 25-24 and 27-26, but hit a ball into the net both times.
“We missed three serves in the last seven points,” Schumacher said.
St. Cecilia gave away 11 points in the first set — seven on hitting errors — and trailed 20-12 after Sutton’s Kyla Griess served an ace.
A kill by Sabatka out of a timeout momentarily turned the tide and the Hawkettes parlayed it into a 5-0 run. Sutton answered with its own, featuring blocks by Marlie Drudik and Kennedy Perrien, to seal the set.
“After a team calls a timeout, we’re really bad about letting them get on runs,” said Sutton’s Reagan Robinson. “Tonight, we didn’t let that stop us.”
Sutton led 10-5 in the second until another timeout by the Hawkettes yielded a 7-1 stretch by the visitors.
“I don’t think it was (a match) that we were ever out of, but we were never able to finish it out,” said Schumacher.
Robinson served Sutton to separation in the third, throwing over three of her four aces on the night as part of a 5-0 surge that put the Fillies up 16-10.
“We just wanted to finish it,” she said.
STC (8-6)...............................17 27 21
Sutton (15-2).........................25 29 25
St. Cecilia (kills-aces-blocks)
Ryann Sabatka 6-0-4, Lindsey Parr 10-0-0, Brynn Weeks 7-0-0, Etta Schreiner 3-0-2 1/2, Payton Sullivan 2-0-2 1/2, Chloe Valentine 3-0-0. Totals: 31-0-9.
Reagan Robinson 0-4-0, Lily McCroden 9-1-0, Alivia Huxoll 12-1-2, Kyla Griess 2-2-0, Jacee Haight 6-0-0, Tori Peterson 1-0-0, Maddie Baxa 0-0-0, Kennedy Perrien 2-0-1, Carly Skalka 0-0-0. Totals: 32-8-3.
Assists — STC 30 (Valentine 26); S 32 (Perrien 29).