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Shelton volleyball meeting expectations with 13-1 start to season; area volleyball roundup
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Shelton volleyball meeting expectations with 13-1 start to season; area volleyball roundup

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SHELTON — The Shelton Bulldogs had high expectations coming into this season.

So far, those expectations have been met.

“Last season ... we were 20-9, so I knew we had some good potential because we only lost one senior, so I knew it was in there,” second-year coach Alie Kropp said.

With a 25-16, 25-18 win over Wilcox-Hildreth followed by a 25-17, 22-25, 25-19 win over Axtell at Tuesday’s Shelton Triangular, the Bulldogs improved to 13-1 this season. Their only loss came to Central Valley (8-1) at the season-opening Overton Invitational.

Since that day, Axtell is the only team that has taken a set from the Bulldogs.

“We struggled to pass. We had a lot of trouble on serve receive ... and we missed quite a few of our own serves,” Kropp said. “And Axtell is a good enough team that we can’t make those kind of mistakes.”

But the Bulldogs bounced back in the third set to finish off the match. A balanced attack that included six kills by Sidney Gegg and five each by Dru Niemack and Halie Clark, provided the bulk of Shelton’s points in the third set.

“Our girls came out and they were aggressive. We started passing the ball well and when we pass the ball well we’re able to get a good set and a good, aggressive hit,” Kropp said.

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Niemack, a 5-11 left-hander, and Gegg, a 6-foot middle, pulled the trigger often. Niemack finished the Axtell match with 17 kills while Gegg had 16. Against Wilcox-Hildreth, Niemack had 12 kills and Gegg and Clark had six apiece.

“We knew Dru was going to have a good year. She had a great year last year,” Kropp said. “And we knew there was Sidney and about the third game of the season we saw it come out and it’s just been coming out a little bit more every game. She’s been a good, secret weapon for us here lately.”

For Axtell (7-5), Lexie Eckhoff and Reagan Nordhausen had 10 kills apiece in the loss to Shelton.

The Wildcats also beat Wilcox-Hildreth, 27-25, 25-15 with Eckhoff scoring 11 kills and Nordhausen eight. Audrey Nelson had four ace serves.

Ryeann Ritner and Sarah Jensen had eight kills apiece for Wilcox-Hildreth (4-6). Freshman Madison Bunger led the Falcons against Shelton with four kills, all in the second set, and Ritner had three kills.

Other area volleyball results:

- Kearney High climbed over the .500 mark with a 25-17, 26-24, 25-11 win over Columbus on Tuesday. The Bearcats improve to 7-6, while the Discoverers fall to 9-11.

- Minden improved to 10-2 on the season sweeping Aurora and Adams Central at the Adams Central Triangular. In a 25-22, 25-20 win over Aurora, Maylee and Mattie Kamery had eight kills apiece and Sloane Beck had seven. Hallie Space scored three ace serves. In a 25-21, 25-23 win over Adams Central, Mattie Kamery had nine kills to go with seven assists. Space again had three aces.

- Jolee Ryan had 19 kills as Overton overpowered Maxwell 25-10, 25-14, 25-14. Ryan also had four blocks while Natalie Wood added three ace serves.

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