Rock Bridge volleyball team wins game, season series against Hickman

Thursday, October 22, 2009 | 10:15 p.m. CDT; updated 11:51 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 22, 2009
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Rock Bridge and Hickman's volleyball teams celebrated their seniors in a final home game match up at the Hearnes Center on Thursday night. The Bruins swept the Kewpies 25-15, 25-19 and 25-18. The two teams will meet each other again on Monday during the district tournament to be played in Quincy, Illinois.

Last season, the Hickman girls volleyball team swept its season series with Rock Bridge. This season the Bruins got even.

Rock Bridge beat the Kewpies in straight games, 25-15, 25-19, 25-18 on Thursday night at Hearnes Center in both teams' senior nights.

Rock Bridge coach Beth Newton said she was happy the girls did not get distracted.

“I thought we played very well,” Newton said. “They stayed focus being in a different place and having their senior night.”

Newton attributed the win to solid defensive play.

“I was really proud of the block tonight,” Newton said. “We almost always had two blockers up and that is the key for our defense. As long as we can continue putting up a strong block, we should be successful and be able to close it every time. We probably did that about 75 percent of the time tonight.”

Rock Bridge junior setter Alexis Granneman agreed the Bruins front row was productive.

“We were so strong at the net,” Granneman said. “We have been struggling with it throughout the season, but tonight it really came together and it makes it a lot easier for the back row.”

Hickman coach Greg Gunn said his team was flat.

“I just thought that we didn’t play very well,” Gunn said. “We made more errors than we should have, and we weren’t able to get in any sort of rhythym. They had us on our heals tonight, and we weren’t able to get anything going.”

The Bruins and Kewpies play again at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the first round of districts at Timberland High School in Wentzville. Gunn said he hopes the change in scenery will help the team.

“It will be different venue, it won’t be senior night, and it’s the first round of districts,” Gunn said. "There’s nothing new there, just a matter of them being able to stay in the game and make less mistakes.”

Newton said the Bruins need to keep up their intensity going into Monday’s district match.

“You can’t ever take them lightly,” Newton said. "Every game is a new day and you gotta come out and stay focused. The minute you start taking them lightly is the minute they have the advantage. We just have to stay focused from now to Monday. Hopefully we’ll just roll with it and keep playing well.”

The Bruins were excited to win the regular season series 3-1.

“We didn’t want a repeat of last year,” sophomore libero Nici Thaler said. “We have a lot more skill and potential this year and were just really confident out there. Now we are pumped up a lot and ready to win at districts.”

The Kewpies ended the regular season at 6-19-1, while the Bruins ended 14-18-1.

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