Scotus Central Catholic libero Kate Maguire continued to put together a memorable senior season on Thursday during pool play for the Shamrocks at the Malcolm Invite.
Scotus defeated Fort Calhoun 25-18 and 25-4 then took a sweep over previously unbeaten Fairbury 25-17, 25-18.
Maguire, who surpassed the career mark for digs last weekend, and Tuesday set a new single-match record for digs with 45, served 20 straight points in the second set of the win over Fort Calhoun.
Her efforts in the back row as well as strong performances by setters Audrey Sprunk and Maysa Kuhl allowed Scotus to bounce back from a tough five-set defeat to Wayne and improve to 8-3.
"We spent time Wednesday before practice with the girls and really studied our Wayne match, stats and how we have to balance things out," coach Janet Tooley said. "That also falls on the attackers as far as being loud so the setters know they are available. Defensive positioning and lining up the block was not being executed properly, so I believe seeing that on video really helped the girls make those corrections, which gets the ball to the slot and makes the setters' job easier."
On the night, senior Chloe Walker led with 14 kills while junior Hailey Steffensmeier had 11. Senior Berlin Kluever, freshman Mallory Dreesen and freshmen Larkyn Mahoney each had seven.
Maguire had 28 digs to go with six aces. Sprunk set up 23 assists while Kuhl put together eight.
In Maguire's 20-point run against Fort Calhoun she had five aces in that stretch and six for the night.
"I have not seen a run of 20 that I can remember," Tooley said. "Her jump float serve is effective as it has a lot of movement, and she did a great job of hitting the zones where the weaker passers were located."
The previous single-match dig record was held by Courney Labez who had 38 in a match during her career which lasted from 2013-2016. Maguire already has 203 digs this season and 1,002 in her career. Labenz also held that career mark at 862.
Scotus finishes pool play on Saturday with No. 10 Malcolm then No. 2 Lincoln Lutheran. The Shamrocks will play a third match against a team in the other pool that finishes with the same record.
"Thursday was probably our two most complete matches of the season so far," Tooley said. "We really served tough and passed well, which of course allows a lot of good things to happen. Our setters did a nice job of evenly distributing the ball to our attackers who mixed up their shots, keeping the opponents' defense scrambling."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.