PARDEEVILLE — Under a new head coach, a few rough patches to start the season were expected for the Pardeeville prep volleyball team. But now with the season moving into the second week of September, the Bulldogs are starting to get used to their new leader.
That comfort level between the Bulldogs and coach Tammy Heck started to pay dividends on Tuesday night, when Pardeeville rolled to a 25-10, 25-14, 25-12 victory over Rio in a Trailways West Conference match at Pardeeville High School.
Heck said she is seeing a big difference in her team’s play with each match this season.
“I think they are adjusting to how I want them to play, and they are trusting me. And I’m trusting what they’re going to do,” Heck said. “And they are hustling after a lot of balls that you would think are going to hit the ground. They’re getting underneath them.”
The key moment in the opening set came when the Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run that stretched their 10-5 lead out to 20-5. Despite falling into the big hole, the Vikings kept fighting. A kill by Rio sophomore McKenzie Sampson, which came just moments after she blocked a Pardeeville attack, made the score 20-9.
The mini rally for Rio was too little too late, as Pardeeville (1-2 conference) got the 25-10 victory.
The Bulldogs relied on Pardeeville senior Courtney Peterson and her precise serves during their 10-0 run in the opening set. Peterson, who finished with a match-high four ace serves, is one of Pardeeville’s top servers.
“I have her serve wherever I need her,” Heck said. “I would say about 90 percent of the time (she serves the ball where I ask her to).”
It was another big run that turned the second set in Pardeeville’s favor, and once again it was Peterson that was serving. With the Bulldogs lead trimmed to 12-10, Pardeeville rolled off eight straight points to take a 20-10 lead.
Again, Rio tried to close the gap. A nice block by senior Kalista Horton made it 24-14, but a Rio service error followed, giving Pardeeville the 25-14 win.
In the third set, Rio (1-2) jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but the Vikings were unable to sustain their strong start. Consecutive ace serves from junior Maddie Cook allowed Pardeeville to tie the set at 4. Pardeeville went on a 3-0 mini run to go up 8-5, and the Vikings were never able to recover. The Bulldogs closed the set on a 13-3 run to finish the sweep with a 25-12 victory.
Peterson also led Pardeeville in digs with 33, while junior Rylie Mussehl lead the Bulldogs in kills with seven and blocks with two.
Rio junior Jordyn Hutzler led the Vikings with seven kills, while senior Morgan Burmania had four blocks.
PARDEEVILLE 3, RIO 0
Rio 10 14 12
Pardeeville 25 25 25
RIO (leaders): Kills – J. Hutzler 7. Blocks – Burmania 4. Assists – Canales 9. Digs – Kawano 10.
PARDEEVILLE: Kills – Mussehl 7. Blocks – Mussehl 2. Assists – Nedza 11. Digs – C. Peterson 33. Aces – C. Peterson 4.