LEIPSIC – Leipsic head volleyball coach Brent Newell has been preaching to his team about not letting up.
In Thursday’s key Putnam County League showdown between Kalida and Leipsic, Kalida made a few small runs on the host Vikings.
However, down the stretch, Leipsic had too many weapons as it put the Wildcats away in three sets – 25-14, 25-17, and 25-15.
With the win, Leipsic improves to 16-2 overall and 4-0 in the PCL. Kalida slips to 8-9 overall and 2-2 in league play.
“What seems to happen is, when we make an error, it turns into two or three in a row,” Newell said. “So, that’s kind of been an issue this year. Teams have been going on miniature runs because when we make an error, it turns into a domino effect.”
Leipsic set the tone in the first set, going on a 5-0 run to start. The Vikings were never challenged in the opening set.
However, in the second set, Kalida recorded its first lead on the night, 1-0, and kept it close until down the stretch. Leipsic’s Peyton Heitmeyer recorded three consecutive kills late in the first set to help her team pull out the win.
On the night, Heitmeyer led Leipsic with nine kills. The junior outside hitter also came away with 13 digs and two aces.
“She (Heitmeyer) is a nice outside hitter for us,” Newell said. “We have four really nice hitters on our team. It’s fun, because each night, we don’t know who our leader in kills is going to be. We have such an outstanding front row.
“We were telling them during the timeouts that our offense is phenomenal, but we told them to work on our blocking and our defense.”
On the night, Marisa Hermiller knocked down eight kills for Leipsic. Teammate Elizabeth Scheckelhoff recorded seven kills.
In the third set, the Vikings found themselves down 4-0. The score was knotted four times in that decisive set. Leipsic finally came roaring back to close it out.
“We committed some errors there, early in that second set,” Newell said. “Even in the third set, we got down 4-0, but we did a nice job of coming back and not giving up. Defensively, we played pretty well tonight.”
Brooke Vennekotter led Kalida with five kills. Teammate Emily Buss added four kills. Katelyn Kahle had 15 digs. Teammate Carlee Recker recorded 14 kills.
With the win for Leipsic, next Tuesday’s match with Miller City will be a huge encounter in the PCL. Both are undefeated in the PCL.
“That makes it more fun when we go to Miller City,” Newell said. “Instead of playing for the co-share (for the league title), we can play for the outright title. That will make next Tuesday a little more exciting for us.”
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