By Paul Lecker
SPENCER – Spencer senior Marisa Johnson wasn’t happy with the way the Rockets volleyball team played on Tuesday, but even when they weren’t at their best, they had no trouble in their match against Marshfield Columbus Catholic on Tuesday.
The Rockets swept the Cloverbelt Conference East Division match 25-19, 25-11, 25-14, to improve to 3-0 this season. Columbus Catholic is now 0-4.
Playing without senior setter Brooke Kettleborough, the Rockets turned to junior Kallie Reckner to fill in. She stepped up with 24 assists and kept the offense rolling enough to push Spencer to the victory.
“Everyone is used to Brooke right now, but we need to get used to Kallie as well,” Johnson said. “Brooke has a knee injury right now, so we need to use Kallie and get used to her as well.”
Columbus Catholic started out Game 1 with a 6-2 lead before the Rockets pulled ahead.
Johnson had three kills and Julia Berres had two aces in a 10-1 run as Spencer took a 12-7 lead.
Columbus closed to within 14-11 after a net violation, but the Rockets were able to maintain their lead and finished off the win with a kill by Abby Varsho and two errors by the Dons.
“I feel like we kind of struggled tonight,” Johnson said. “We didn’t play our best at all. I think we passed better, but we still need more communication. There are always things to work on.”
Spencer started stronger in the final two games.
In Game 2, Reckner had three-straight aces as Spencer built a 9-3 lead.
Kendra Baierl and Celine Scholin each had two kills as the Dons pulled back to within a 13-10 score, but the Rockets rolled from there.
After a sideout on a kill by Liz Endreas, Courtney Buss served eight straight points for the Rockets. Spencer finished off the set on a 12-1 run.
Spencer had a quick start again in Game 3, taking a 10-4 lead as Weber had three kills.
Columbus got as close as five, but only had five kills in the game and Spencer was able to finish out the match.
“We did not come out strong…still sluggish from homecoming week,” Spencer coach Buff Heller said. “Kallie Reckner really stepped up in setting tonight.”
Weber finished with 10 kills and five blocks, Johnson had nine kills and 21 digs, and Abby Varsho had five kills and two blocks for the Rockets.
“Columbus has gotten a lot better, so tonight they brought their game against us,” Spencer junior Macie Weber said. “I think we still had some energy, just not as much as we’re used to and I think that’s a big part of our game that we need to pick up.”
Baierl had five kills and Scholin four for the Dons.
Columbus hosts Owen-Withee and Spencer plays at Gilman in Cloverbelt East matches on Thursday.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com).