Riders Bounce Back With Win Against Kenton

St. Marys Roughriders varsity players run out onto the court prior to Thursday's Western Buckeye League match against Kenton.
Sports Editor

Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in three weeks, St. Marys’ attacking and serving allowed them to bounce back from a five-set loss last week with a 25-11, 25-11, 25-12 Western Buckeye League sweep of Kenton on Thursday.

After a five-set loss to Shawnee last week where St. Marys led 2-0 in that match, the Roughriders accumulated 35 kills and 14 service aces against Kenton on Thursday.

“We were able to be aggressive from the serving box tonight,” Roughriders coach Madison Broering. “We made little area attacking, but at least they were at the beginning tonight, but I thought we played three pretty solid set tonight.

“Last week was a tough one. We gained a lot of momentum in the second set because we served aggressive and got them out of system and from there, the momentum shifted to their side of the court and we couldn’t finish out the fifth set and make enough adjustments.”

The Roughriders (5-9, 3-2 WBL) jumped out to a 6-1 lead thanks to three serve points from Claire Bertke and after Kenton kept the within five points at 10-5, St. Marys enjoyed a 10-1 run with Cherissa Priddy racking up six service points and a pair of aces. 

The Roughriders ended the first set with a kill by Samantha Ackroyd and two aces by Bertke to take the early 1-0 set lead.

Leah Walter opened the second set with an ace and two other serves that were not returned over the net to push the lead 7-2 and Ackroyd recorded three more point to push the lead to 14-3. 

Then the Riders’ attacks came.

Haley Felver recorded a pair of kills and Walter slammed the ball on the Wildcats three times as part of Bertke’s seven straight service points to push St. Marys’ lead to 23-7 as Walter eventually ended the set with a kill.

“Leah Walter was definitely a threat for our team tonight,” “She was very consistent, aggressive and smart with how she attacked and that is exactly what we have been looking for out her this whole season.

“She did a wonderful job.”

The junior had one of, if not the most productive game this season with eight kills and one ace. With a 2-1 lead in the third set, Walter extended the Riders’ advantage with five straight service points and an ace for a 7-1 lead. St. Marys finished the rest of the set with a 15-10 advantage to get the sweep.

Bertke paced the Roughriders with 10 kills and six aces. Ackroyd tallied seven kills, two aces and three digs and Priddy recorded eight digs and four aces. Young collected 18 assists and Cora Rable had 14 assists.

After a 2-7 start to the season, St. Marys has won three of its last four games.

“We have definitely made improvements as we have gone throughout the season,” Broering said. “This weekend we have the Van Wert Invite so that will be tough for us, but I really think we have been progressing in the right direction this year.”

The Roughriders won the freshman game 25-8, 25-16 as well as the junior varsity game 25-14, 25-10.