Fourth set 'hands down the best our team has played'
KEOKUK — The Washington volleyball team took game three from Keokuk but it wasn’t enough in a 3-1 loss, Tuesday.
“We did actually pretty well,” said head coach Julianna Berg. “We didn’t win. That is not ideal. We did do a lot of great things that game.”
All four sets were decided by fewer than four points. Keokuk took the first set 25-21, the second set 26-24 and the fourth set 25-22. Washington took the third set 25-23.
“We are really starting to execute the things we talk about in practice,” Berg said. “The scores were very close last night.”
In the end, a 6-0 lead to start three games was too much to overcome.
There were two aspects of the game that stood out to Berg, — limiting unforced errors and the final push in game four.
“I can count on one hand the number of unforced errors,” Berg said.
The end of the fourth set was the best sequence of the year for the Demons.
“Those last 10-15 points were hands down the best our team has played all year,” Berg said. “Everybody was on the ball and ready. They were playing like it was the end of the game. That was huge for us.”
The night was the Demons’ most complete performance yet, according to Berg.
Berg said it was a solid team effort with several contributors.
Sophomore Amber Salow was consistent all night with 10 kills on 40 attack attempts.
“Amber did really well,” Berg said. “It can be intimidating stepping up to the varsity level as a sophomore. We keep working on her taking aggressive swings. She started out a little tentative, but I keep telling her, ‘just keep swinging.’ I was really proud of her.”
Washington had 31 successful kills to 20 hitting errors.
Senior Carly Shelman is the team’s libero but that hasn’t kept her from switching positions.
“She has been doing well,” Berg said. “She is kind of in a tough position. Her role is unpredictable. We put her in there wherever we need her. I say to her, ‘Be ready to go in anywhere.’ She does that.”
Senior Victoria Bennett had a team-high 12 kills with just two errors. She had eight digs.
Junior Rachel Hall had a team-best 31 assists.
Junior Lauren Swan led the team with 34 digs.
Juniors Macey Marek and Sydney Hoffman had nine and seven digs, respectively.
Junior Anna Wheeler showed her versatility against Keokuk with six digs.
“Last night was probably the first night she played all the way around,” Berg said. “She usually just plays front row. She didn’t see a lot of sets in the back. But she played really well. That was the best defense I have seen her play. I was pretty impressed with that.”