ELGIN – It was a “near perfect” match as the Lady Owls swept past Clinton in three consecutive sets during the team’s volleyball season opener on Tuesday.
Elgin tallied the three-set victory 25-17, 25-15 and 25-11 as the Lady Owls controlled the serve and pass game and totaled more kills than errors.
“Truthfully, they just killed it. We were near perfect on the serve and pass,” first-year head coach Jenny Walker said. “We dominated at the net. We were very precise with our spot serving and serve and receive passing. Last night, it was everything I could have expected as a team. We were rock solid.”
Amaya Rodriguez led Elgin with 13 kills from the outside while Mikaila Scholl notched six kills. Sadie Schuh recorded a team high seven aces while Kailyn Harvey had four and Elyanna Theriot was credited with three aces.
Walker and her assistant coaches conducted tryouts as soon as school concluded in May, which allowed the staff to hold an off-season program during the summer.
“I don’t think Elgin volleyball has ever had an off-season program. I think that work is paying off,” she said. “It may be too soon to tell, but I think the chemistry is there. Everything went in our favor (against Clinton). We were very successful.”
The off-season program consisted of agility work, weights and motivation from the coaching staff.
“I think all of that combined is giving them a leg up,” Walker said.
Elgin returns three seniors and several juniors and sophomores with match experience. Heading into the season opener against Clinton, Walker was confident Elgin would field a competitive team.
“They’ve been working their butts off in the weight room and on the floor,” she said. “We don’t have so much height, but a lot of grit. We will win the serve and pass game.”
Elgin will play at Tuttle Friday, Aug. 12 and return home to host Newcastle on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The Lady Owls will also host Cache on Thursday, Aug. 18.