TURNING THE TIDE

The St. Edmond volleyball team did not enter postseason play on the best of runs.

But, Gael head coach Dee Huss never saw the confidence level in her players drop despite losing seven straight to conclude the regular season.

Instead, St. Edmond re-focused on the task at hand, coming away Tuesday night with a sweep over Paton-Churdan in a Class 1A, Region 5 opening round match inside the SEHS gym.

Scores were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-13.

The Gaels (9-17 overall) will now face Glidden-Ralston (12-9) back here on Monday in a quarterfinal round contest. The winner of that moves into the semifinals vs. either West Bend-Mallard or Bishop Garrigan on Oct. 27 here.

Hannah Huss had a game-high 12 kills and two blocks, while Megan Flattery recorded nine kills, two blocks and a pair of aces.

“When we came out of the CYO with eight wins, I honestly thought that was the start of something for us,” Huss said. “But the latter half of our schedule was a difficult one. We were playing some very tough teams and we just couldn’t put it together.

“I thought we really played a great match (vs. the Rockets). Our serving was excellent and we didn’t make a lot of mistakes. The girls really kept themselves in the moment.”

After falling behind 4-1 early, St. Edmond responded with seven consecutive points. Erin Flattery had six perfect serves during the stretch. Paton-Churdan did rally back to take the lead at 16-15, but the Gaels closed on a 9-1 run to claim the first.

St. Edmond fired right out of the gates in the second, building a commanding 6-2 lead that stretched to 14-8 on the heels of a six-point run.

“It just felt like we were really zoned in on what we needed to do,” Huss said. “Paton-Churdan was a scrappy team and they made us fight for everything. But we did a great job of ball control and that allowed us to run our offense.”

The Gaels again finished the set strong, closing out the Rockets with an 8-4 run. In the third, P-C scored five of the first six, but St. Edmond strung together a 11-3 rally to give them enough of a cushion to work with.

In the first set, the Gaels had three serving errors, but they had just three total after that. They also had six aces as a team and recorded seven blocks.

Paton-Churdan, which bows out with a record of 7-14, is coached by John Johnson, who previously coached at St. Edmond. Megan Carey had six kills for the Rockets, who have just one senior on their roster.

Glidden-Ralston received a bye into the quarterfinals. They closed the regular season by winning 12 of their final 16 matches after starting the year 0-5.

“It was really nice to get that first postseason win, and it was especially nice to do it at home,” Huss said. “We’ve had great support all year and it will be awesome to get to continue playing at home again on Monday.”