Volleyball: Irish split six matchesRosemount beat Kennedy, lost to Eastview, then went 2-2 at the Burnsville Tournament
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
With just a week remaining in the regular season, Rosemount volleyball coach Smokey Vitek had an honest assessment of her team’s play.
“When we play well, we play very well,” Vitek said. “But, we’re not playing consistent.”
Supporting Vitek’s evaluation was a pair of matches against Bloomington Kennedy this season.
The Irish faced the Eagles in the finale of the Farmington Tournament in mid-September. While Rosemount was dealing with the new feeling of losing setter Mikaela Sullivan to injury, Vitek was still disappointed in a 26-24, 17-25, 16-14 loss. Last week, the Irish beat Bloomington Kennedy 25-20, 25-22, and 25-22 in the conference match between the two teams.
“They knew we didn’t play well,” Vitek said of her team about the loss to the Eagles. “It did show them that they need to come ready to play, emotionally set and execute better to beat teams. If we do that, we’ve proven we can beat teams easily. When we don’t, we can lose to almost any team as well.”
The past week offered a bit of the same for Rosemount (11-9, 2-5 South Suburban). Following the 3-0 win against Bloomington Kennedy, the Irish were swept 3-0 at Eastview.
Last weekend, Rosemount went 2-2 at the Burnsville tournament, losing 2-0 against Stillwater and Moorhead on the opening day of the tournament before beating Tartan and Chisago Lakes by 2-0 scores.
The loss against Stillwater was encouraging to Vitek.
The Irish are used to facing top competition in the South Suburban Conference and Stillwater is just outside of the state’s top-10 rankings.
“We had a tough draw out of the gate with Stillwater,” Vitek said. “They are a good team. We played very well, probably one of our strongest matches of the year. We played tremendous defense. Stillwater has one of the best hitters in the state and she was really swinging away. We were digging her up. Their other hitters hit off-speed and different types of shots, and we made a lot of adjustments and played very well.”
In the 28-26, 25-23 loss, Ali Fromme led Rosemount with nine kills. Elaine Warner had seven kills and two blocks. Cassie Hansen passed out 19 assists. Jillian Blanc finished with 10 digs.
But as encouraging as the Stillwater game was, Moorhead was just as frustrating, continuing the Irish’s inconsistency.
Rosemount lost 25-16, 25-19 to Moorhead.
“They played well against us, but we played horrible,” Vitek said. “We couldn’t pass very well. We were limited on offense and when we fall behind we play too timid, not putting tough serves over. The match got away from us really fast.”
The Irish came back the next day to beat Tartan 25-10, 25-18 and Chisago Lakes 25-18, 25-7.
Hansen had 34 assists in the two matches. Warner, Peterson, Natalie Busher and Jaclyn D’Amico each had eight kills on the day. Blanc had a combined 13 digs. Warner had seven blocks in the two games.
Rosemount will compete in the Apple Valley tournament this weekend.