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Gael volleyball squad handles Bulldogs

Seniors Aleah Anderson and Mya McClain called it gritty and tough.

Josephine Alstott said she was proud.

All that added up to a four-set win for the St. Edmond volleyball team over Hampton-Dumont/CAL here Tuesday night in North Central Conference action.

Scores were 19-25, 25-15, 25-20 and 25-15.

“I let the girls talk after the match and explain how they feel,” said Alstott, in her first year as SEHS head coach. “Both Aleah and Mya said it was a gritty and tough win by the girls, and I couldn’t agree more.

“I’m just so proud of how they competed and played.”

After starting the year 0-7, the Gaels have won six of their last 10, including three of their last four to improve to 6-11 on the year and 1-2 in the NCC.

Anderson had eight kills, senior classmate Alyxis Mericle seven and freshman Lauren Gibb five. McClain, Kierstin Clark and Emma Alstott each had four, with Alstott and Alyson Nieland recording six total blocks each.

Clark also had 25 assists, and St. Edmond recorded 13 serving aces, led by four each from Clark and McClain.

“Kierstin did a great job of directing the offense,” Alstott said. “And Mya was like another coach on the court. She was moving players around and was fantastic.

“I thought we did a great job of setting things up and taking advantage of our serve-and-receive by scoring quickly off it.”

Four aces in the second set helped the Gaels even the score at 1-all, as Anderson, McClain and Mericle each had two kills. St. Edmond used a 8-0 run that included back-to-back aces by McClain to gain control at 22-12.

In the third, the Gaels again found their rhythm late, rallying with a 10-4 burst to go up 24-17. Anderson and Mericle had three kills in the set with Alstott and Nieland picking up three blocks each.

“They made it tough for them to find openings,” Alstott said. “Really, it was just a total team effort. They focused in and did what we’ve been working on in practice.”

St. Edmond had six aces in the fourth, starting it off on a 9-2 run. The Bulldogs (2-11, 0-4) would get no closer than eight in the set.

Up next for the Gaels will be Iowa Falls-Alden on Sept. 30 at home.

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