By Paul Struck
The Cherokee Washington High volleyball team split a pair of entertaining matches with neighboring Ridge View and River Valley here Thursday night, defeating Ridge View 2-0 on game scores of 25-22, 25-22; and falling 1-2 to River Valley by game scores of 25-12, 26-28, 8-15 after failing on a game-two match point.
In Thursday's opening match in Cherokee, River Valley edged Ridge View 3-2 in a five-game Western Valley Conference thriller by game scores of 25-16, 24-26, 17-25, 25-11, 15-12 (see separate story this page).
In the tight win over Ridge View, Cherokee got timely scores with consistent hitting and serving.
Shanon Shafer led Cherokee hitters with a 16-17 effort and six kills, followed by Megan Hummel 14-16 and five kills, Jackie Wilson 12-16 and seven kills, Taylor Woods 8-10 and one kill, and Kaitlyn Miller 7-8 and three kills.
Hummel led her tam in serving with an 11-12 effort and two aces, while Miller was 9-10, Denise Freed 9-11 and an ace, Shafer 9-9 and an ace, Megan Carlson 7-7 and an ace, and Clare Tuttle 4-5 and an ace.
Shafer and Miller led in digs with eight each, Hummel had seven, and Carlson seven. Miller tallied 12 assists among her 43-50 sets. Woods had five block assists.
Kill leaders for Ridge View were Kaitlun Wulf with eight, Anna Davis eight, and Gretchen Kistenmacher four. Nicole Snyder was assist leader with 19. Kistenmacher led the Raptors in digs with 11, while Dana Hustedt had seven, Ashlynn Blenner five, and Wulf four. Snyder also led in ace serves.
"The girls worked hard and finished the match in two games," said a pleased Cherokee coach julie Hummel. "It was great to see them tied at 22-22 and win the game. Our blocking was much better and we did a great job of covering our own hitters and picking up the blocked balls and leeping them alive. We need to be more consistent throughout the whole match."
"We were a step slow all night and Cherokee took advantage of that," said Ridge View coach Scott Mitchell. "We need to continue to do the little things right on every point."
Woods led Cherokee hitting against River Valley with a 21-23 effort and six kills, followed by Hummel 15-17 and five kills, Miller 14-16 and six kills, Shafer 11-14 and three kills, and Wilson 11-15 and four kills.
Freed paced Cherokee serving with 18-18 and three aces, while Miller was 13-13 and three aces, Carlson 12-13 and three aces, and Hummel 6-6 and one ace. Miller had nine assists on 63-73 sets. Carlson led in digs with 15, and Shafer had 13.
Kari Ludvigson led RV in hitting with a solid 25-27 effort and 11 kills, followed by Lexie Chester 13-14 and six kills, Mackenzie Fitch 11-13 and two kills, Brittany Hunwardsen 10-10 and three kills, and Olivia Goettsch 6-11 and two kills.
Jacie Jepsen led RV in serving with 12-14 and two aces, while Ludvigson was 11-11 and two aces, Chester 8-9 and one ace, and Brittny Shropshire 7-8. Chestr led in digs with 17 and Ludvigson had 14.
"The girls played with a lot of enthusiasm and teamwork. We had match point and let it slip away," said Cherokee coach Hummel. "We will learn how to finish games when we have game point. We got into a tipping game with them and we get in trouble when we do that. I am proud of the way the girls play together and never give up."
The River Valley girls now boast a shiny 8-1 record under veteran coach Marlene Baumann, while Ridge View moves to 6-3, and Cherokee to 3-8 so far this season.