SOLOMON – The Herington Lady Railer volleyball team went 5-0 on Saturday, and they defeated regular season champion Rural Vista to win the Wheat State League Volleyball Tournament at Solomon.
“It was a great day for us,” said head coach Lisa Beye. “Getting first place was really not in the plans for the day. It just happened because the girls did an excellent job of carrying out their game plan.”
Herington began the day with a two-set defeat of Elyria Christian 25-11, 25-28. From there they defeated Little River in three sets 25-19, 22-25 and 25-20. Next, it was a win over Canton-Galva 25-11 and 25-17.
In the afternoon, Herington met up with regular season league champion Rural Vista. The Railers won the match 25-21, 25-20.
“This was the highlight of the day,” Beye said. “We have been beaten by them for several years and this year alone three of our six losses have come from them. They are a very strong team and I knew it was not going to be easy, but the way the girls were playing I knew there was a chance we could do it.
“We talked a lot in practice last week that it was going to be very important for us to take every point serious and not make mistakes,” the coach said. “Serving and passing would be key for our success. We also knew that they would come at us with hard hits and we had to be ready to answer back on those attacks.”
Serve receiving errors by Rural Vista accounted for some of the Heat’s play against Herington according Heat head coach Adam Sobba.
“We made a lot of mistakes that cost us,” Sobba said. “We had a lot of receiving errors that really helped them get the momentum and we were never able to recover from those errors.”
Herington was able to get six aces to land during the match against Rural Vista. Junior Carrie Roe and sophomore Emma Alt had two while sophomore Halle Rutschman and sophomore Tristyn Kremeier had one each.
Attack wise, Roe led the team with 10 kills against the Heat and Rutschman added five. Roe, Alt and sophomore Megan Mortensen had key blocks to help the Railers. Roe had three while Mortensen and Alt had two each. Three other Railers had a block during the match.
Roe, Rutschman and senior Adrina Volkman were all over the court for Herington digging balls. Roe led the way with 18, Rutschman 17 and Volkman had 12.
“I am so proud of the girls and how they stepped up their game,” Beye said. “They realize how important it is to expect the best out of their level of play to beat a good team. This win was huge for us going into sub state next week. I think the girls finally believe they can do great things if they just have confidence in themselves and the team.”
After the win over Rural Vista, the Railers ended the day with a win over Goessel 26-24, 25-12.
“We set goals and expectations for our level of play on Saturday and the girls carried it through,” Beye said. “It was a great day to be a Lady Railer.”
At the tournament unofficial stats for Herington were: Halle Rutschman 22 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks and 54 digs; Hannah Pohlman 22 digs; Carrie Roe 63 kills, 4 aces, 9 blocks and 54 digs; Megan Mortensen 7 kills, 2 aces, 8 blocks, 7 digs and 2 assists; Tristyn Kremeier 1 kill, 4 aces, 6 blocks, 58 digs and 64 assists; Dakota Swader 2 kills, 9 blocks and 7 digs; Adrina Volkman 3 Aces and 35 digs; Emma Alt 5 kills, 6 aces, 7 blocks and 11 digs; Madi Becker 7 Aces and 21 digs.