WABASSO - Less than 24 hours removed from a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers, the Wabasso Rabbits volleyball team was back on the court Tuesday for a Tomahawk Conference test against the Sleepy Eye Indians in Wabasso.
The Rabbits showed no lingering effects from Monday's non-conference loss as they thumped the Indians 25-6, 25-15, 25-15.
Wabasso started the match on an 11-1 run during which the team's top two servers on the night, Desi Kramer and Ellen Franta, were aggressive and kept the Indians from finding a comfort zone. Kramer picked up an ace for Wabasso's 11th point of the set and she finished the match 15 of 17 serving with three aces. Franta ended up 12-for-13 serving with a pair of aces.
Photo by Travis Andries
Wabasso’s Desi Kramer, left, and Kimberly Frank leap for an attempted block during the first set of Wabasso’s 3-0 victory over Sleepy Eye Tuesday night in Wabasso.
Kramer and the Rabbits maintained their intensity, outscoring Sleepy Eye 14-5 over the rest of the first set, including one of Kramer's team-high nine kills to take a one-set lead over the Indians.
The energy on display by Wabasso during the first set was something that head coach Barb Johnson said was lacking during Monday's loss to WWG.
"After last night, they had a lot of disappointment and they knew it was because they didn't come out with enough intensity and enough energy," Johnson said of her team. "So I knew tonight they would be really fired up to play and play well. And they definitely did."
Set 2 looked to be a repeat of the first set in the early going, with the Rabbits bounding out to a 13-3 lead. Outside hitter Callie Rohlik led the Wabasso charge, picking up three of her five kills in the match during the run, while freshman Morgan Frank helped anchor the Rabbits' defensive net presence.
All match, but especially in the second set, Wabasso's length gave the Indians fits, both offensively and defensively. Twelve of Wabasso's 25 points in the second set came off of kills or ace blocks, while four other points were awarded to the Rabbits after Sleepy Eye players had ventured into the net looking to gain some advantage over their taller opponents.
The height and long limbs of Wabasso's front row players gives the Rabbits an edge against most opponents and has become a primary strategy helping the team to an 8-4 record so far this season.
"We really try to block everything," Johnson said. "We use it to our advantage as far as blocking. And we throw the set up high so we can go up and hit over people."
Sleepy Eye did find ways to score in the second set, but could not string enough points together to truly threaten the Wabasso lead.
The opposite was true during the third set, as Sleepy Eye took advantage of fresh faces for Wabasso on its way to a 10-4 lead.
"I played everyone tonight, with parents' night," Johnson said. "And it was new people out on the floor. Nobody really knew exactly what they were supposed to do and exactly where they were supposed to go."
Even the officials were confused. A communication error during a substitution led to a lengthy pause in the action, during which time the Rabbits regrouped and refocused as a team.
Following the intermission, Wabasso outscored Sleepy Eye 21-5 as a pair of seniors took over. Kramer had four aces and an ace block during the run, while setter Kimberly Frank had four of her seven kills in the third set. Frank also had 17 set assists for the Rabbits, who ended their run, the set and the match on an ace from Kramer.
With the win over the Indians, Wabasso improves to 3-2 in the Tomahawk Conference. A trip to New Ulm for a matchup with Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Thursday provides the Rabbits with a chance to improve upon their conference standing.
Sleepy Eye 6 15 15
Wabasso25 25 25
WABASSO INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Serving (good-att-aces): Desi Kramer 15-17-3, Ellen Franta 12-13-2, Chelsey Guetter 8-8-1, Becky Franta 10-10-1.
Kills: Kramer 9, Kimberly Frank 7, Callie Rohlik 5, Guetter 5.
Digs: E. Franta 7, Kramer 6, K Frank 5, Guetter 5.
Set Assists: K. Frank 17, Larissa Rohlik 8, Mindy Goblirsch 5.
Blocks: Kendra Eichten, Kramer, K. Frank, M. Frank.