Five attackers reached double digit kills for Briar Cliff as the Chargers responded to a first set loss to defeat Benedictine 3-1 (21-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-14) Friday at the Bulldog Bash in Seward, Neb.
Head coach Lindsey Weatherford said her team started out slow, but she thought the entire team performed well in sets two through five. She gave credit to setters Delaney Meyer and Maureen Imrie for the evenly spread kill totals by the attackers. Meyer finished with 24 assists and Imrie totaled 22.
“Our setters’ ability to put our hitters in a position to be successful was impressive tonight and evident by the even distribution of hitter statistics,” she noted.
Tyra Blue and Grace Whitlaw had the top kill totals for the Blue and Gold with 11 each. Victoria Gonzalez, Analyse Stapleton and Grace Hanno all finished with 10 and Noel Phillipstacked on seven. Blue was the most efficient of the bunch, tallying her 11 kills on just 15 attempts with no errors for an attack percentage of .733.
“Both of our middle hitters (Whitlaw and Blue) found great success on offense,” Weatherford said. “That is largely confidence building.”
Aside from the offensive numbers, the two also helped BC outblock Benedictine 11-4. Whitlaw was the top blocker with six total blocks (two solo, four assists). Blue had two solo blocks to go along with two block assists.
Another factor in the decision was the play of libero Cassie Clark, who led all players with 19 digs, according to Weatherford.
“I noticed vast improvement in our defensive movement in the middle back from Cassie,” Weatherford said. “She was able to put in a lot of work this week on keeping balls alive and her hard work was evident in each of her digs.”
Hanno also reached dougle digits in digs with 11. She also led the team in aces with three of the Chargers’ six. The Ravens also were credited with six aces, but Benedictine had more service errors than the Cliff by a 5-4 margin.
Briar Cliff dominated the stat sheet as the Chargers had an overwhelming edge in attack percentage (.431-.172) and total digs (55-37) among other categories. The outcome moved both teams’ records to 4-3 as Briar Cliff will compete in two more contests at the Bulldog Bash on Saturday. The Blue and Gold take on Waldorf at 1 p.m. and Bethel at 3 p.m. in Seward, Neb.