GLEN CARBON -- The Roxana Shells volleyball team earned its’ 20th win of the season with a 25-6, 25-9 victory over the Father McGivney Griffins on Tuesday in a road contest.
Serving proved to be a strong point for the Shells in the victory as Roxana recorded 13 aces in the contest. Taylor Westfall had four aces and Braeden Lackey and Abby Kurth each recorded three.
“We had six girls who can get an ace at any time if they want to be aggressive enough,” Shells coach Mike McKinney said. “We’re right at 200 (aces) for the season. The girls work hard at this. We have a drill we do on aggressive serving, you need to practice this if you’re going to do well in a game. Our whole team tonight – we passed well, we covered well, we were hitting well and spread the ball around on the attack.”
Roxana improved to 20-12 with the win.
“We were in a tournament at Red Bud and we weren’t playing like we were capable of playing,” McKinney said. “We lost a couple of matches that we wished we could come back and play again. We got away from what we are about – having fun and doing our best. We put too much pressure on ourselves, including me putting pressure on them. The girls responded and they played well, everything was clicking.”
McKinney said crossing the 20-win mark “was great”
“Last year we won 15 and they wanted to do better than last year,” he said. “We still have two more plus regionals.”
The Shells wasted little time in establishing dominance in the first game. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead behind a seven-point serving run from Niah Bevolo.
“It’s just really nice to go on a good run, to start out with,” Bevolo said. “We set the pace, everybody was really pumped and energetic after that.”
Bevolo finished the contest with 16 assists. Father McGivney’s Emma Deist’s kill broke Bevolo’s run and made the score 7-1 Roxana.
However, the Griffins failed to gain much momentum as the Shells went on to build a 15-3 lead. Bevolo strung together a four-point serving run at the end of the game and Roxana went on to win the first game.
Kills by Lackey gave the Shells their 23rd and 24th points. Lackey led the team in kills with six and Westfall finished with five.
“They had a lot of great talent and a lot of great hitting,” Griffins coach Amanda Pirih said of Roxana. “They had quality jumping and blocking, they were playing well.”
Roxana came out strong in the second game as well, building a 7-1 lead early behind a seven-point serving run from Lackey. The Shells controlled the lead for the rest of the game. The Griffins showed little life when a four-point serving run from Sophia Cruthis made the score 16-9 Shells. But that’s as close as Father McGivney would get.
“We had a short run in the second set and it looked like it was going to be our comeback,” Pirih said on Cruthis’ run. “We couldn’t hold it out. They did really well and came together. Our senior really shined on the court.”
The Griffins dropped to 4-17 with the loss.
The Shells will return to action at 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 19 in a contest at home against Metro East Lutheran. Father McGivney will play Madison on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at home.