Mat Mikesell

Blocking turns tide in QND's favor

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 4, 2017 2:50 pm

GLASFORD, Ill. -- With its back against the wall, the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team needed to figure out a way to get back into the Class 2A Illini Bluffs Super-sectional against Eureka.

The Raiders did that by making it difficult for the Hornets to get the ball over the net.

QND made a stronger effort to block Eureka's swings in the second and third sets in the 23-25, 25-20, 25-16 victory, and it flustered the Hornets.

"We just kept saying to each other this wasn't going to be our last game," QND senior middle Molly Penn said. "We had to step up our blocking. We weren't closing. We weren't getting the extra steps. We just tried to fix that."

It ended up swinging momentum heavily in QND's favor.

In the third set, QND got a block by junior middle Monica Brown that gave it a 7-2 lead. Those points were needed as Eureka rallied to trail 9-8, but QND answered. Though the Raiders didn't always get a point off a block, it slowed down the ball enough for senior libero Hannah Peters to start the offense.

"(Blocking) was a whole lot of difference," QND coach Rich Meyer said. "I think that was one of the major parts to us winning. We stopped a lot of balls. Even though we blocked some balls out of bounds, that starts to get in hitter's heads because they realize they have four hands to hit around."

The Raiders started noticing that, too.

"They started to think more about where they were hitting it," Penn said. "They started to tip more or started to roll it. I definitely think that helped when we started blocking what they'd normally get."

Meredith Siebers led QND with four blocks.

"It felt really good to get those," Siebers said. "Our timing was better. Coach told us to be quicker."

Brown and Penn both had three blocks as QND had 12 as a team.

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