Volleyball: Goodhue dominates at homeGOODHUE - Schaffer Academy was looking for its first win of the season during the first round of the Section 1A playoffs Monday against Goodhue when the Lions scored the first point of the match.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
GOODHUE - Schaffer Academy was looking for its first win of the season during the first round of the Section 1A playoffs Monday against Goodhue when the Lions scored the first point of the match.
It was a promising start but fifth-seeded Wildcats stifled that hope quickly and controlled the rest of the match in a 25-4, 25-15, 25-11 blowout of 12-seed Schaffer Academy.
“The thing we stressed was playing clean,” Goodhue head coach Andy Kimball said. “I was very happy with the way things went.”
Kimball played many of his bench players for most of the second and third sets, getting some rest for his starters before traveling to face some of the toughest section opponents.
“It was good to save shoulders and save reps,” Kimball said. “I wanted to get girls playing time. Everybody who went out there played well.”
Goodhue sophomore Shelby Hinsch led the team with five kills and three blocks while junior Kali Ryan added four kills and three blocks. Sophomore Alex Donahue also provided four kills off the bench and junior Mikayla Tipcke had a team-leading 13 set assists.
While the Lions tallied the first point, the opening set was all Wildcats. Goodhue scored eight straight points to grab an 8-1 lead and after a timeout by Schaffer Academy put up a 10-2 run for a dominant first-set victory. Junior Mikayla Miller served out the opening game with five aces in the final six points.
In the second set, the Wildcats jumped out to a 5-1 lead but a few errors allowed the Lions to pull within 9-6. Goodhue struggled with service returns by Schaffer Academy that came back over the net on the first touch, catching the Wildcats flat-footed. Kimball said it wasn’t a matter of lazy play and those plays rarely happen.
“There’s that fine line between what we need to plan for and what’s just bad luck,” he said.
Goodhue made a couple more sloppy plays down the stretch, including two service errors late, but held on.
“We had a few service errors but we called them tough,” Kimball said. “The big thing is I try not to get on them.”
The third set had a mistake-filled start for both teams with five service errors as the Wildcats began up 7-3. Kimball put his starters back in to keep momentum going into the next round and Goodhue dominated the rest of the set, ending the match on another ace.
With an unusually small home crowd and an underwhelming opponent, the Wildcats wanted to seal the win quickly with as few mistakes as possible.
“You have to use self-motivation to get going,” Tipcke said. “You shouldn’t make mistakes. That’s a game that’s unacceptable to go more than three (sets).”
Goodhue stayed focused to pick the win and next up, the Wildcats will travel to face fourth-seeded Rushford-Peterson.