Volleyball: Royals flush away Osakis in 3-0 sweep
The Osakis volleyball team dug itself into trouble Thursday night, and the hole was too deep to recover from in a 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-22) home loss to Royalton.
“We missed a lot of serves, and that hurts. We also were a little hesitant on defense at times, and that’s something we can’t do, against a good team like that especially,” Silverstreaks head coach Kirsten Wessel said. “They were just able to stop (our) momentum by finding open spots on the floor and getting a point.”
The first set began with a back-and-forth battle. Osakis took its first and only lead at 7-6 after a Royalton attacking error, but the Royals played ahead for much of the opener. The Silverstreaks kept within a point at 16-15 after a kill from Tianna Stanek, but Royalton responded with eight straight.
Osakis managed to scrape across one point to stop the bleeding, but Anna Meemken finished things with a powerful kill and a 25-16 final.
“(Meemken) was, blocking and hitting-wise, doing a nice job for them,” Wessel said. “And she’s only a sophomore, too.”
The tides looked to be turning for the Silverstreaks in the second set. Osakis trailed 19-11, but an 8-0 run of their own leveled the score and pushed all momentum to their side. Laynee Hartshorn led the way with two kills and a block, and Stanek added an ace during the stretch to help bring on a 19-19 tie.
Royalton recovered briefly, but the Silverstreaks had them on their heels with an Elli Clasemann ace that made for a 24-21 lead. From there, though, the Royals scored five straight -- all on Osakis errors -- for the 26-24 comeback.
“They had a little bit bigger, stronger block on us. They were able to shut us down there,” Wessel said. “They were tipping on us in spots that we weren’t ready for.”
Things stayed just out of reach from the Silverstreaks in the third set.
Osakis faced a modest deficit early, but they never flipped it into a lead. They briefly tied the score at 13-all when a set from Clasemann unexpectedly passed over the net and to the floor, but it was as close as they came.
Royalton had a 16-15 edge when they separated for good. Jenna Carlson recorded an ace at the back end of four straight Royal points, and they worked it into a 24-19 lead.
Osakis won the next three points, but Gabby Enneking clinched the Royalton win with a full-extension dig while diving out of bounds, which ultimately turned into a Royal kill for the game-ending highlight.
“Making our serves and being a little bit more aggressive on defense is going to be one thing that will help us turn the corner against them next time,” said Wessel. “It’s not that we’re bad servers, but tonight, our focus must not have been there. … And the defensive thing: We really need to work on not hesitating, and getting after it.”
Individually, Hartshorn led the Silverstreaks with eight kills and Jacey Larson followed with seven. Clasemann worked up to 19 set assists on the night, also finishing with four of the team’s eight aces.
Defensively, Stanek piled up 20 digs to lead the team, while Megan Peikert added 13 and Kylie Anderson nine. Hartshorn, Larson and Anderson each finished with one block, as well.
Osakis will return to action for the Sauk Rapids-Rice Tournament, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Royalton 3, Osakis 0
25-16, 26-24, 25-22
OSAKIS -- Alli Rach - 3 digs; Brooke Pfeffer - 4 digs; Elli Clasemann - 4 aces, 1 kill, 19 assists, 7 digs; Jacey Larson - 7 kills, 1 block, 7 digs; Kylie Anderson - 1 ace, 3 kills, 1 block, 9 digs; Laynee Hartshorn - 8 kills, 1 block, 1 assist; Liz Drevlow - 2 aces; Maddie Johanson - 2 kills; Megan Peikert - 13 digs; Tianna Stanek - 1 ace, 3 kills, 20 digs.