INDIANAPOLIS – Zionsville head volleyball coach Rich Coleman wants to make sure his team uses every match they have as a learning experience.

So while Monday night’s 3-0 (25-16, 25-7, 25-5) win over Pike wasn’t the toughest match his team will have year, he was happy to see the work the team put in over the three sets.

“We talk about focus and sometimes it is just as much mental as it is physical,” Coleman said. “Thursday against Westfield, we needed both. We played really, really hard and were mentally focused. Tonight, we wanted to focus on first contact, we had some goals we wanted to accomplish and got some players some playing time that needed it. We weren’t as worried about the scores as we were the process tonight.”

The win was the third in a row for the Eagles, who improved to 8-2 on the year.

Coleman said after a tough end to last week, the Eagles went a little easier over the weekend, and he felt like that contributed to the slow start in the first set before the Eagles got rolling.

Zionsville led 18-15 late in the first set, then out-scored Pike 57-13 the rest of the way.

“We had a challenging match on Thursday, so we did a little less this weekend and it showed. We were rusty,” Coleman said. “But we regained focused, locked in and took care of business.”

One of the biggest reasons for the Eagles’ turnaround was their serving.

The Eagles hit five into the net in the first set, and only two in the final two sets.

In the final two sets they had scoring runs of 9, 6 and 13.

“The first serve of the match Katie dumps it into the net and it was kind of a resounding theme throughout the first set,” Coleman said. “We were being a little too cute with serves and trying to place it in a specific spot and it’s a new ball for the high school season this year. We didn’t adjust to it very well until later. We have to execute our first serve better, serve or receive to be successful.”

Sydney Aguirre and Avery Moore had eight kills each for the Eagles.

Katie Kirkendol had 21 assists.

Zionsville also got seven kills from Amy Olivova.

“She found a role on Thursday against Westfield, especially in the third and fourth,” Coleman said. “We have been trying to get her acclimated into indoor volleyball and she is starting to catch on. The more floor time she can see against people she isn’t used to, the better and the more comfortable she is. We were just hoping to have her ready for sectionals, but she is coming around early and doing great things for us.”

The Eagles have a busy week, facing Carmel Wednesday, Franklin Central Thursday and then hosting their own invite on Saturday.

“We have to maximize everybody,” Coleman said. “Wednesday is a huge match in their place, and we played Franklin Central earlier in their invite and it was a tough match. We have to have a lot of focus and we don’t have a lot of time to prepare.”

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Zionsville Times Sentinel and Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.

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