Senior Emily Kallmeyer records team high seven kills.
Crystal City, Mo. - For the second straight year the Lady Shamrock’s (23-13) season came to a disappointing end at the hands of Valle Catholic as they fended off New Haven’s late set comeback taking the District semifinal match 25-20, 25-22.
(2)Valle Catholic (24-8-1) went on to beat (1)Bismarck (30-4) in three sets but would lose Winona (27-9) in the State Quarterfinal after beating Spokane (21-10-2).
Coach Jaime Hoener committed on Tuesday night’s loss, “I thought we played hard, but Valle was the better team on that night. Valle was composed and never got rattled and made very few errors.”
Seniors Emily Kallmeyer and Rachel Steinhoff once again had big games. Together they combined for 13 of the teams 22 kills with Kallmeyer leading the team with 7 kills and Steinhoff adding 6 kills and 23 digs.
Hoener praised the two seniors, “Rachel and Emily both played very solid games. I was glad they could put up that strong of a fight in their last game. Most people didn't notice how they were covering their area on defense as well as some of the other spots. They both a very team oriented and very smart players.”
The two sets against Valle were mirroring images of each other. New Haven would jump out to a 4-1 in both sets before Valle would out score the Lady rocks 19-10 in the first set to take at 20-14 lead.
But New Haven would battle back to pull within three; (23-20) Valle always seemed to have an answer, which began taking it’s toll on New Haven’s hitters. “As a hitter, when you're hitting the ball well and it seems like the other team is picking everything up, you do get frustrated. Valle's defense was very, very good,” said Hoener.
Megan Shockley sparks second set comeback.
Once again in the second set New Haven found themselves down 20-15 when junior Megan Shockley sparked another New Haven comeback, pulling the Rocks within four after recording one of her three kills on the night.
Down three, 24-21, Steinhoff, who thrives under pressure brought her team within two, 24-22, but Valle would answer on the ensuing playing to end the Lady Rocks late charge at forcing a third set.
New Haven ends their season with 20 or more wins for the fourth straight year (23-11, 6-1) and their best conference record since going 6-1 in 2006, finishing second that year as well.
Good players but great people. Hoener talks about how close this year’s team was and the type of people they are.
I asked Hoener what the mood was like in the locker room after their loss to Valle.
“Lots of tears in that locker room after the game. Those seniors are going to be hard to replace. The girls sat for a while and just thanked each other for such a great season. I haven't had that happen too many times.”
Rachel Steinhoff ends her senior season, leading her team with serving 168 points, dropping 39 aces, and slamming 187 kills. Steinhoff not only led her team in kills but also in digs with 406.
“They did a superb job of expecting great things from themselves and others. I hope that the underclassmen can do the same next year.”
Hoener elaborated about their season by saying, “It's so much easier to go to practice every day with people who have such positive thoughts and strong work ethics.”
“They worked hard each day in practice and had a lot of fun doing it. We never had issues with girls having low grades or not coming to school. They all got along and played as a team.”
“There were plenty of times that some girls could have been upset about not playing a whole lot, but we never had that happen. I think that in itself says a lot about their character and how great of people they are.”
Honer concluded by saying, “I thought they worked hard. They were very enjoyable to coach. They're even better people than volleyball players.”
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