COLUMBUS — Make it seven straight wins for the ninth-ranked Scotus Central Catholic volleyball team.
The Shamrocks took down rival David City Aquinas in straight sets (25-13, 25-17, 25-21) Tuesday night at Dowd Activity Center to extend their win streak after a 6-0 showing at the Gradoville Invite in Omaha.
Scotus head coach Janet Tooley gave credit to her back line for keeping plays alive and blockers for shutting down the Monarch offense Tuesday night. The Shamrocks recorded 57 digs and eight blocks in the home victory.
“Hats off to the back-row defense tonight because that really established the feel of the game where Aquinas had a difficult time really generating anything against us because of our defense,” Tooley said.
Abbie Zoucha led Scotus' strong defensive outing with a team-high 17 digs. Libero Kayla Hall added 16 digs and Courtney Kosch had 12.
At the net, Bailey Lehr, Madison Kerkman and Kosch tallied two blocks apiece.
The Monarchs took their biggest lead of the match at 7-3 early in the first set before Scotus went on a 15-2 run.
Tooley knows her team needs to start a little quicker Thursday when the Shamrocks take on undefeated and second-ranked Grand Island Central Catholic on the Crusaders' home floor.
“The nemesis of this team is not being able to get off to a great start, and we definitely are going to have to put a little more pressure on that in practice and figure out a way to get over that,” Tooley said. “I don’t know if it’s mental or bad luck, because I think we’re trying to do the right thing and we're just not quite getting it done yet.”
The fast start was encouraging for Aquinas head coach Jodi Pelan, unlike her team's performance from that point forward.
“Just too many mental errors,” she said. “They are going to score enough points on their own without us helping them — and we helped them.”
Aquinas' struggles with serve receive and unforced errors allowed Scotus to maintain the momentum throughout the match.
“From the get-go we were not sharp on serve receive, and that was one of the things I feared after the weekend. And I knew Scotus is always a good blocking team, so I knew that was going to create some problems for us, but I'm just disappointed in the points we gave them,” Pelan said.
After recording only one kill in the first set, senior Elley Beaver took control of the Shamrock offense to finish with a team-best 11 kills. She set the tone at the service line, as well, recording three of the Shamrocks' five aces.
Lehr added eight kills to her well-rounded performance, and Zoucha dished out 24 assists.
Scotus is now 8-3 this season while Aquinas falls to 4-2.
The Monarchs don't play again until Sept. 21 at East Butler.