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Strasser: Lady Z volleyball’s serve-receive ‘steadily improving’ in loss to Northfield

Updated: Sep 17


Sports Editor, RTC

How do you beat a volleyball team that is taller and more experienced than yours?

The Rochester volleyball team faced that challenge in visiting Northfield at the RHS gym Thursday.

Northfield claimed a 25-18, 25-22, 25-13 win, but a Rochester team giving major playing time to three freshmen – setter Aubrey Wilson, defensive specialist Logyn Honkomp and outside hitter Brailyn Hunter – continues to make strides in its passing, according to coach Laneia Strasser.

Northfield, who has four seniors as compared to Rochester’s one, improved to 14-4 overall and 3-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Rochester dropped to 2-15, 1-4.

Strasser called a timeout four points into the match as the Lady Zs looked into a 4-0 hole thanks to three Elli Baker aces.

They would stay within 21-17 on an Audrey Bolinger service winner and a Darah Strasser back row kill.

“The best part was that we gave more effort and that we didn’t give up,” coach Strasser said. “The worst part was our serve-receive. We struggled with serve-receive again. It’s getting better, but that was the worst part in my mind tonight, but it’s still better than we were a game ago at serve-receive and a game before that. So it’s steadily improving. It’s just still not where we need it to be.”

Coach Strasser was asked how much of serve-receive is where a player stands and how much is executing the proper fundamentals once a player gets to the ball.

“Sometimes where you stand is the mental side of it because it doesn’t matter where you stand,” Strasser said. “You should be able to move your feet and get to it and get your shoulders to the target. But sometimes they think it’s where they’re standing when it’s not really. It’s the fundamentals of it.”

Rochester threatened in the second set, taking a 19-16 lead on an Ella Hake kill, a kill error from Northfield’s Gabby Haupert and a Hunter tip.

But Northfield answered with six straight points to go up 22-19. They would eventually close the set out on a Baker kill.

Northfield went on a 6-0 run in the third set to grab a 14-8 lead.

Northfield’s towering middle hitter Josie Lynn had 16 kills.

“A short team beat a tall team? We double-blocked on their middle. We knew she was going to be good. We knew she liked to cut hard to the right. We knew she was going to be there as well at hitting, so you either had to swing hard or you had to swing around her and be smart where you placed it.

“I felt like the girls did a pretty good job today. Set three, our blockers didn’t have as big of a presence where we needed them, but set two and set one, our blocking was great. We worked a lot on blocking yesterday (in practice), and you could tell at the time of the game.”

Northfield def. Rochester, 25-18, 25-22, 25-13


Brailyn Hunter – 2 kills, 3 digs; Ella Hake – 1 kill, 5 digs, 2 serves received; Darah Strasser – 2 kills, 4 digs, 1 assist, 11 serves received; Mia Howdeshell – 2 kills, 5 digs, 4 serves received; Audrey Bolinger – 4 kills, 1 ace, 1 dig, 1 assist; Logyn Honkomp – 12 digs, 7 serves received; Rylee Clevenger – 9 digs, 18 serves received; Aubrey Wilson – 5 digs, 9 assists; Avarie Montel – 1 dig, 3 serves received; Lillee Lett – 1 dig, 3 serves received

JV: Northfield def. Rochester, 22-25, 25-14, 15-8

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