Cougars continue quick startZumbrota-Mazeppa volleyball head coach Stacy Liebenow’s job has been pretty easy to this point.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
ZUMBROTA – Zumbrota-Mazeppa volleyball head coach Stacy Liebenow’s job has been pretty easy to this point.
The Cougars rolled to their second consecutive 3-0 victory Thursday with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 victory over Rochester Mayo.
“This is a coach’s easiest job right now for me because they’re doing it all on the court,” Liebenow said. “It’s not stressful for me at all.”
It helps Zumbrota-Mazeppa (2-0) has senior Ashley Hinsch back in the lineup after she played in just two matches last season. Hinsch dislocated her shoulder and tore her labrum during the team’s second match of the season last year.
“Just her presence is awesome on the court,” Liebenow said.
Hinsch’s presence came in handy during the few times the Cougars needed a lift. In the third set the Spartans climbed back to make it 20-17, which led Liebenow to call a timeout. Immediately following the timeout Hinsch delivered a kill that wiped out Mayo’s momentum and helped lead Zumbrota-Mazeppa to a 25-22 victory. Hinsch led the team with 12 kills and added 13 assists in her second match back.
“I just like to get it done, I guess,” Hinsch said. “I think that under pressure we just can get it right away and we know where to go.”
Not being on the court proved difficult for Hinsch last season and so far she’s made up for lost time.
“Emotionally it was kind of hard to sit the entire year,” Hinsch said. “It’s just fun getting back out there and playing with the team.”
Junior Lauren Holm and junior Geena Miller each added six kills with Holm notching the match winner.
The Cougars attacked the Spartans from the service line and tallied nine serving aces for the match, six of those came from senior Laura Huneke, who has developed into one of Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s best servers.
“She went from two years ago, always never being able to serve to now being one of my toughest servers out there,” Liebenow said. “She was on a roll.”
Huneke was indeed on a roll, especially during the second set when she served 10 consecutive points to help the Cougars build a 13-2 lead.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa also got 18 assists from senior Megan Nelson. Nelson led the team with 11 digs. Senior Colleen Owen added nine digs for the Cougars, who kept rallies alive with their digging.
The quick 2-0 start has given Zumbrota-Mazeppa some early confidence it will take into its bigger matchups of the season.
“I think we’re really confident and excited to play this season and see how we do against the harder teams like Kasson and Stewartville,” Hinsch said.
The Cougars face Lake City, which is also 2-0, Tuesday in Lake City.