• Val T.

Rochester loses in 4 to Plymouth in volleyball opener

Leap: We need to work on serving


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester volleyball team is a “new team,” according to coach Erin Leap.

And they are going to have to work on their serving.

That was one conclusion that coach Erin Leap drew after the Lady Zs fell to Plymouth 20-25, 25-7, 25-12, 25-18 in their season opener at the RHS gym Saturday.

Kills were distributed evenly: Lexy Thomas, Kennedy Leap and Emily Hughes had five kills each, and Kylie Coleman had four.

But the Lady Zs had only five aces and also committed 14 serve receive errors.

The lack of service pressure is an issue that will be addressed immediately, according to coach Leap.

“That’s what we’re going to do Monday in practice is what I think,” coach Leap said. “We missed a lot of serves. I don’t know how many, but we missed a lot. That can’t happen, so we’re going to have to clean that up.”

Rochester led 5-4 in Game 2, but Plymouth went on a 21-2 run as Clare Sheedy found fellow seniors Chloe Holten and Maddy Figg and junior Taylor Delp repeatedly while disguising her sets in various directions.

Plymouth went on an 11-4 run to start Game 3 and an 8-2 run to start Game 4.

“We started to play in a much more effective manner,” Plymouth coach Jon Hutton said. “The only adjustment we really made was talking about shrinking the court a little bit with them because they were just finding those corners and those little holes in the middle. Once we did that, we seemed to play with a little more intensity and push that ball a little better.”

Starting with the 21-2 Plymouth run in Game 2, Rochester scored only 10 points on their serve for the rest of the match.

Plymouth also thrived aiming their serves at particular Rochester back row players.

“I told them during the timeout and during the match, ‘They’re coming at you. You’re going to have to want the ball,’” coach Leap said. “You just have to accept the fact that they’re coming at you, and we have to want them to serve it to you, and we have to want them to serve it to you, so that you can prove it to them that you can pass. It’s just a confidence thing.”

Rochester travels to Pioneer to face the reigning Class 1A state champs on Tuesday.

Coach Leap acknowledged that Plymouth, Pioneer and most tough opponents on Rochester’s schedule might have a height advantage against the Lady Zs. The challenge as the coach is to overcome that.

“We definitely need to make sure we cut back on hitting errors,” coach Leap said. “We need to find a way to get touches on balls at the net. That’s a height thing for us right now. I can’t make girls taller. I can’t make girls jump higher. … It’s a matter of me figuring out getting shorter blockers touches, so our defense knows where to pass, where to go to dig, how to read around them.”

Plymouth def. Rochester, 20-25, 25-7, 25-12, 25-18

ROCHESTER STATS

Kylie Coleman – 4 kills, 1 ace, 7 digs, 2 serves received; Lexy Thomas – 5 kills, 2 blocks, 1 dig, 7 serves received; Kennedy Leap – 5 kills, 1 block, 2 digs, 1 serve received; Emily Hughes – 5 kills, 2 digs, 1 serve received; Alexa Kouskousakis – 2 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs, 18 assists; Kenzie Bradley – 2 aces, 9 digs, 4 serves received; Kylie Houston – 2 aces, 8 digs, 10 serves received; Rily Holloway – 6 digs, 11 serves received; Emma Sells – 3 digs, 25 serves received; Taylor Howard – 1 serve received


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