Gaels sweep host Jayettes in volleyball opener

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Perry junior Jo Diw follows a plan that worked well for her during the softball season -- hit the ball into the hole in the defense. She had a team-best 15 kills in Thursday's season opening match with visiting Fort Dodge St. Edmond.

Fort Dodge St. Edmond spoiled the season opener for the Perry volleyball team Thursday with a 3-0 sweep in their non-conference match. The Gaels prevailed, 25-18, in the first game before posting a 25-17 win in the second match. A determined Jayette squad fought back from a gaping deficit to tie the third game at 23-all before falling, 25-23, as the match ended in three sets.

Perry held an 10-9 lead in the third game, only to see FDSE open a 21-11 gap. The Jayettes fought back, and with Adrian Thompson serving scored nine consecutive points to tie the set at 23-all. Unfortunately the surge ended there, with a kill from the Gaels and a mishit from the Jayettes ending the game, and the match.

“That was gutsy and I like it a lot,” Perry head coach Kristel Schultz said of her team’s refusal to roll over. “I told them that if they remembered one thing from tonight to remember that.”

Perry had three point leads twice in the opening set, only to see an 11-all contest quickly slip away, with the Gaels scoring the final four points to win, 25-18. The hosts were never in gear in the second game, with the guests scoring seven of the last nine points for a 25-17 victory.

“We made a change that I think made a difference,” Schultz said about the third set. “I had Sid (Vancil) strictly setting in the third set and I think that gave us the consistency we needed and I think it seemed like the girls trusted her and felt more comfortable.”

Vancil finished with 19 assists and was 10-of-10 serving with a block. Jo Diw had 15 kills while making 11 digs and serving 7-of-8.

“We will be working on amount of plays we use Jo,” Schultz said. “We need to utilize her from all spots as she rotates around the floor.”

Thompson was 13-of-14 behind the line and had four kills and a block, with Syd Guerra providing 14 digs and Adriana Eastman 13. Maddie West was 8-of-9 serving with an ace and joined Isabel Saemisch in recording two kills apiece while Eastman and Vancil each added a single kill.

Perry will play Saturday in the Bondurant-Farrar tourney before hosting Boone Tuesday.

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