HAMPTON – The fifth-ranked Mead Raiders needed four sets to get past Louisville on the road on Sept. 24.
The Raiders won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-17 before losing the third set 17-25. Mead was able to bounce back to win the fourth set 25-14.
The Raiders played efficient volleyball in the first two sets, but struggled with errors in set three.
“We committed 17 errors on their 25 points in the third set. It is hard to be successful when you play like that,” said Mead Coach Keshia Havelka.
The Raiders changed up their rotation in the fourth set and the team responded with the 11-point win.
Sophomore setter Emily Quinn finished with a career-high 43 assists against the Lions.
“She ran an extremely balanced offense that kept Louisville guessing where the next attack was going to come from,” stated Havelka.
Senior Abby Miller led the attack with 13 kills. Miller hit .238 against the Lions. Junior Becca Halbmaier, senior Delaney Patocka and sophomore Bri Lemke combined for 34 kills.
The Raiders remained on the road on Sept. 26 when they traveled to Omaha to take on Omaha Christian Academy.
Mead had no problem getting past the Eagles winning in straight sets 25-9, 25-11, 25-8.
The Raiders hit .358 against the Eagles and finished with 19 ace serves.
Halbmaier led the offense with nine kills in just 11 attempts.
Demmy Patocka scored 29 points from behind the service line and scored 11 aces.
Miller finished with eight kills, nine digs and added five kills from behind the service line.
Lemke led the Raiders with 10 digs.
Quinn handed out 27 set assists.
“We wanted to be efficient in our offense and aggressive from behind the service line. I think we accomplished both of those things,” Havelka added.
The Raiders returned to action to take part in the Hampton Tournament on Sept. 28.
Three more wins pushed the Raider record to an impressive 13-0.
The Raiders defeated Hampton in the championship match and won the tournament for the first time since 2006.
Prior to playing Hampton the Raiders scored pool play wins over Silver Lake and Clarkson-Leigh.
Mead beat Silver Lake 25-18, 25-12 behind 14 kills from Lemke. She was just as good defensively, finishing with 10 digs.
A nine-point service run by Quinn got the Raiders off to a fast start in the second set. She also handed out 23 set assists.
Demmy Patocka came through with eight digs.
The second round of pool play netted another win for the Raiders 25-20, 25-13 over Clarkson-Leigh.
Lemke and Halbmaier combined for 13 kills to lead the way offensively.
Demmy Patocka led the way defensively with nine digs.
Quinn handed out 13 set assists.
Mead downed Hampton 25-21 and 25-12 in the match for the championship.
“Winning this tournament was one of our goals this year and the team was excited to accomplish it,” Havelka said.
Halbmaier and Delaney Patocka paced the offense with seven kills apiece.
Miller played well defensively and led the team with 11 digs.