After Brenna Schlader started Hickman’s scoring with consecutive kills, the Camdenton defense shifted its focus to the middle.
Hickman then went outside and used a balanced attack to defeat the Lakers 25-16, 25-14 on Tuesday at Hickman.
The Kewpies are 22-0.
Coach Greg Gunn said that Hickman’s offense starts with Schlader.
“When the middle gets going, the defense has to commit the middle blocker to her,” Gunn said. “This allows the outside to hit against one blocker.”
Camdenton closed to 10-8 in the second game before the Kewpies went on a 6-2 scoring streak that forced a Laker timeout.
Hickman scored three straight points before the timeout with Schlader earning a kill for a sideout, Paige Ely serving an ace and Schlader and Kendra Williams teaming for a block.
Camdenton called another timeout in the middle of a Hickman six-point streak that made the score 24-13. Veronica Smith and Naomi Tesfamikael combined for a block before consecutive Lakers mistakes led to the timeout. Tesfamikael ended the streak hitting long.
Camdenton’s Jessica Leck hit into a serving error to end the match.
Hickman had six blocks in the match and played solid all-around defense. Schlader said Hickman watched the Lakers’ arm
swings, which helped the blocking.
“Our back row players did awesome,” Schlader said. “They covered tight and helped us run some pass plays in the front.”
Gunn said his team hopes to improve every week.
“The challenge for us is to be consistent,” Gunn said. “It’s hard not to be complacent and nervous about the record.”
A Smith serving error and two Brandie Killinger kills gave Camdenton a 6-4 lead in the first game before Hickman used a 10-3 streak to take control.
Heather Grice, Lindsey Fleming and Danielle Newton earned aces in the streak. Tesfamikael and Schlader had two kills, and Schlader and Smith combined for a block. Newton served four straight points at the end of the streak before Jill Wallace blocked Schlader.
After Wallace hit into the net, Ely earned a kill to win the game.
Smith said Hickman knew the Lakers would be tough and the key was to start strong.
Camdenton is the most recent team to defeat the Kewpies, knocking Hickman out of the district tournament last season.
“We were pretty determined,” Schlader said. “They beat us in the semifinals of districts last year and we knew they have a good program each year.”
Schlader led the team with seven kills and had three blocks. Smith had three blocks and five kills.
Williams had six kills and Newton had 19 assists.