(Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:45 PM
The St. Louis Lady Saints cruised to their second consecutive district win Tuesday afternoon, defeating Washington-Marion in straight sets, 25-8, 25-9 and 25-9.
The Saints (8-3, 2-0) were coming fresh off an impressive showing at the Ursuline volleyball tournament over the weekend and wasted no time in getting back on the road to the Division III, District 2 championship.
“It’s always good to get off to a good start in any aspect of the game, whether that be district play or a tournament,” said St. Louis head coach Luke Pousson.
The Saints rotated many bodies throughout the match, putting their depth on showcase.
“This is a very close-knit team that plays very well together,” Pousson said. “We have a lot of weapons to work with and everyone does a great job of bringing something to the table whether that be passing, setting, hitting, blocking or serving, it is nice to know that we have someone able to do everything.”
While the team turned in a strong performance as a whole, it was setter Frances Thompson and middle hitter Annaleigh Drost who paved the way for the Saints’ victory.
“(Annaleigh and Frances) both love this game and they are always ready to play hard as soon as they show up,” Pousson said. “Those two girls put in the extra hours and have starting experience, as well as the drive to make this team successful.”
Thompson ended the match with 28 assists and four kills, while Drost added six aces, four kills and a pair of blocks.
Both Thompson and Drost went on multiple serving runs throughout the match, the longest being by Thompson who served for 10 consecutive points to close out the first set.
Long runs were a consistent theme for St. Louis. The Saints compiled five runs of seven points or more. The long runs came in handy as the Charging Indians managed to keep each game close before the Saints would eventually pull away.
“One thing we always stress is to minimize errors on our side of the court,” Pousson said. “If we focus on our side of the court, it causes teams to adjust to what we are doing and that can result in someone putting together a good serving run or making multiple big plays for us.”
Consistency became an issue for W-M late in the match, however, as it failed to string together more than one point at a time in the final stanza.
St. Louis takes a break from district play Wednesday as it goes on the road to face Barbe in what could be a showdown of the area’s best teams. They’ll return to district play Thursday at Iowa. W-M has only district competition remaining on its schedule. The Charging Indians will host DeQuincy on Thursday.