Slicers stay on task

September 15, 2018

La PORTE — With a gigantic Duneland Athletic Conference match looming against Crown Point on Tuesday, La Porte’s volleyball team had to be leery of a letdown versus Chesterton.

The Slicers quickly put those concerns to rest, seizing command early, and only trailing briefly at the start of Game 3.

La Porte cruised over the visiting Trojans in three games, 25-10, 25-18, 25-9, on Thursday to stay unbeaten in the DAC.

“We played like how we’re going to play for Crown Point,” the Slicers’ Paige Conklin said. “It’s the second round of the DAC schedule, and we’ve played every team, so we know they’re going to come out stronger when they play us the second time.”

The Slicers (17-1, 8-0 DAC) started fast in the first game, jumping ahead 8-1 to force a timeout by the Trojans (7-9, 2-6 DAC).

Reilly Briggs was effective hitting, while Conklin had back-to-back aces to make it 6-0. Kara Cooper then made her presence felt at the net, along with Briggs. La Porte also pounced on Chesterton’s mistakes, building a 13-3 cushion. The advantage never dropped below 10 the rest of Game 1, and the Slicers won it 25-10 after Conklin’s tip.

The opening game victory set the mood for the night.

“We played really well tonight,” La Porte coach Cassie Holmquest said. “I’m proud of them. It’s a good way to open the second half of the DAC. They all looked really good tonight. I’m impressed with how they played.”

In the second game, it took a little longer for the Slicers to pull away as they led 8-7. From there, they went on a 10-3 run to go ahead 18-10. Cheyanne Seymour was stout offensively, and La Porte again capitalized on the visitors’ miscues. The Slicers claimed Game 2, 25-18, following Conklin’s ace.

La Porte trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in the third game, but that was the only time it was behind all night. After that, the Slicers rolled, using effective blocking and stalwart team play to take command. The lead ballooned to 17-7 and La Porte clinched that game and the match, 25-9, after its block.

“We spread the ball around and everyone did their part and stayed positive throughout,” Conklin said. “Even if we made a mistake, we still trusted each other.”

Seymour led a balanced Slicers attack with seven kills, and Briggs had six kills, seven digs and four total blocks. Aniya Kennedy posted five kills and five total blocks, while Cooper and Annalise Warnock had four kills apiece. Warnock added four kills, and Cooper tallied six total blocks. Gillian Santana paced the team with 16 digs, and Conklin finished with 23 assists, nine digs and three aces.

As a team, La Porte recorded 19 total blocks.

“Cheyanne looked really, really good tonight,” Holmquest said. “She gets kind of thrown around between outside (hitter) and right side (hitter), but she always just goes out and does her best.”

In addition, Cooper and Briggs helped the Slicers set the tone with their play in the opening game.

“Kara had five solo blocks on the night, so her blocking, obviously, was big,” Holmquest said. “Reilly kind of keeps the tempo of the team going. So they’re pretty good together.”

La Porte’s junior varsity won 25-16, 25-17.

The Slicers host Crown Point (11-6, 7-1 DAC) on Tuesday. In its first match against the Bulldogs this season, La Porte was victorious in three games, 25-10, 25-21, 25-18.

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