Volleyball: Familiar surroundingsDuring Kristin Helgeson’s first three years as coach of the Rosemount volleyball team, the Irish won their first-round section playoff game, only to lose in the second round.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
During Kristin Helgeson’s first three years as coach of the Rosemount volleyball team, the Irish won their first-round section playoff game, only to lose in the second round.
This year offers the same beginning to the story. Rosemount is hoping to alter the second part.
“All four years I’ve been here we’ve won in the first round and the past three we’ve lost in the second to either the one or the two seed,” Helgeson said after Rosemount beat Simley, 3-2, on Wednesday. “We’re definitely due. Tonight was a big win for us, one that we needed. We’re having fun and now we’re hoping for the upset.
“Eastview is supposed to beat us, so it puts the pressure on them.”
The two teams are certainly familiar with each other and with the situation they are in heading into in tonight’s quarterfinal round.
Rosemount was given the No. 9 seed in the Class 3A, Section 3 tournament and had to go on the road to play No. 8 seed Simley. The Irish won, 21-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22 and 15-9 on Wednesday to advance to face Eastview in the second round.
The Lightning are the section’s top seed and had a first-round bye.
“They’re the one seed; they have a couple of big hitters,” Helgeson said. “They serve really tough and pass well. We need to get their hitters out of the front row.”
Eastview swept the Irish during Lake Conference play earlier this season.
Helgeson is hoping Wednesday’s hard-fought win against Simley is just what the Irish needed.
“It was extremely tight,” Helgeson said. “It was a really good match. It was back and forth the whole match. Everyone on the team played well. When push came to shove, we didn’t back down. We went for it. It’s a really good win for us.
“We’re coming off a good week of practice and a huge win. It’s the fourth year in a row we’re in the second round, but normally the games haven’t been tight at all. We’re normally the upper seed and we don’t get pushed. This one was tight, and I think it’s the perfect game to get us ready for Eastview.”
Rosemount had to come from behind several times against Simley. After losing game one and game three, the Irish answered back with wins to set up the fifth game.
They trailed 7-4 in the fifth game when senior Becca Billison — a serving specialist for the Irish — came in and turned the momentum with five straight points, including an ace.
“That turned it right there,” Helgeson said. “That’s a prime example of a kid coming in and playing their role. She came up big for us.”
Paige Petersen led the Irish with 19 kills and 14 digs. She added three blocks.
Elaine Warner had 14 kills and six blocks, with Jaclyn D’Amico contributing 12 kills.
Mikaela Sullivan had 11 digs and 27 assists. Hannah Buecksler had 20 assists. Jordan Hinkle had 13 digs.
Rosemount plays at Eastview tonight at 7 p.m.