- Val T.
Coleman’s 10 aces help Rochester sweep Winamac in sectional preview
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Kylie Coleman had 10 aces, and Kennedy Leap and Alexa Kouskousakis had eight kills each for the Rochester volleyball team in a 25-4, 25-14, 25-19 win over visiting Winamac at the RHS gym Sept. 29.
Coleman, Leap and Kouskousakis were three of the five seniors feted on senior night, joining Rily Holloway and Kylee Freant.
Rochester jumped out to leads of 13-0 and 22-1 in Game 1 thanks to long service runs from Coleman and Lillee Lett. They went on a 7-0 run in Game 2 to build a 20-10 lead and then jumped out to an 8-0 lead in Game 3 before holding off a late Winamac rally.
Leap also had two blocks. Lett had a team-high seven digs and tied with Kouskousakis for team-high honors with nine assists. She also had six aces and three serves received.
Holloway had a team-high eight serves received to go with five digs. Freant had a kill, an ace, a block, a dig and three serves received.
“A hundred percent better,” Rochester coach Erin Leap said of her team’s energy level as compared to a loss to Wabash two days earlier. “We talked about it, and they were ready for tonight.”
Coach Leap also said they tried to keep the ball away from Lady Warrior senior middle hitter McKenzie Hinz.
“We just tried to keep them out of transition because we knew they would go to her if they were able to,” coach Leap said. “So I feel like we kind of cut down on her kills tonight.”
Freant also noticed the improved play from the Wabash match.
“We were pretty determined,” Freant said. “We came back and fought hard. We weren’t ourselves that night, but I think we played really well tonight.”
After playing volleyball since she was a sixth-grader, Freant called the night “emotional.” She called Kennedy Leap, Coleman, Kouskousakis and Holloway “the best teammates.”
“Well, when you think back for the past four years that you’ve played on this gym, it just all comes flooding in all at once,” Freant said.
Winamac fell to 6-21. They could see Rochester again in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 semifinal at Rochester on Saturday.
“We had almost an entire game worth of serve reception errors that weren’t usable,” coach Heather Kasten said in a statement. “When we did get the ball to target, our communication lacked, and hitters weren’t prepared to swing. None of our pieces were clicking together … and that happens. We just need to figure it out in the next 10 days.”
Rochester def. Winamac, 25-4, 25-14, 25-19
Kylie Coleman – 1 kill, 10 aces, 1 dig, 1 assist, 1 serve received; Kennedy Leap – 8 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks, 1 dig, 1 assist; Kylee Freant – 1 kill, 1 ace, 1 block, 1 dig, 3 serves received; Alexa Kouskousakis – 8 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 5 digs, 9 assist, 7 serves received; Lillee Lett – 5 kills, 6 aces, 7 digs, 9 assists, 3 serves received; Audrey Bolinger – 2 kills; Rily Holloway – 1 ace, 5 digs, 8 serves received; Darah Strasser – 3 digs; Mia Howdeshell – 4 digs, 1 assist, 4 serves received
JV: Rochester def. Winamac, 25-20, 25-19
Rochester JV stats
Abbigayle Darling – 5 kills, 7 serves received; Ella Hake – 2 aces; Baylee Freant – 2 aces, 10 digs, 6 serves received; Avarie Montel – 1 block; Rylee Clevenger – 12 digs, 9 serves received; Haley Durkes – 16 assists