ZIONSVILLE — An easy week was much needed for the Zionsville volleyball team.
Coming off a grueling week in which they had six matches in six days, the Eagles had just two matches this week, and came away with two straight-set wins. On Thursday, the Eagles quickly topped Noblesville 3-0 (25-16, 25-8, 25-16).
“We were able to just relax and execute well,” Zionsville head coach Rich Coleman said. “Not having six matches to focus on was a good thing. We just knew what the gameplan was and executed it well. We started off a little slow, and didn’t serve very well, but once we started serving better, it became a little more under our control.”
The epitome of the strong serving came in the second set.
The Eagles led comfortably 14-8, but closed out the set when Katie Kirkendol served the final 10 points of the set.
She had two aces in the run, and the Eagles got two kills from Sydney Aguirre and one each from Avery Moore and Morgan Pressler.
“Katie has been a great server all year and that was just an example of that,” Coleman said.”It was really about the focus of the group and we weren’t going to let them back in it. It was great to see the girls lock in the whole time and run to the finish line, rather than let the foot off the gas.”
Jenny Pitts led the Eagles with nine kills and eight digs.
Mostly a defensive specialist last year, Pitts has transitioned into a bigger role this year and it is paying off.
“She is getting better every match,” Coleman said. “She is tough to defend. She doesn’t really hit the same shot twice, she is very creative and finds ways to score. She is really good with first contact too and good on serve receive. She is adding a lot to our program, similar to what Lauren Latka did last year and it is great to have her playing six rotations.”
Moore also had nine kills and Sydney Aguirre had eight.
Katie Kirkendol had 30 assists and eight digs, with Anna Murphy adding 19 digs.
The Eagles also got four blocks and a kill from Morgan Pressler, who is becoming a bigger force at the net.
“She is a solid middle for us and is starting to pick up offensively too,” Coleman said. “She is a force at the net from a blocking and defensive perspective, but she is adding to the offense and teams can’t just focus on the pins. Her emergence has been huge for us and has made our defense that much better.”
Zionsville is getting ready for another tough stretch, starting with Lebanon on Tuesday.
Then they travel to HSE Thursday, the Crown Point Invite on Saturday and then host three matches the following Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
“We really just have to make sure we are focused for long periods of time,” Coleman said. “There are still moments where we aren’t as engaged as we need to be and that comes with a young team. We have to make sure we are locked in and engaged with what we want to do.”