John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Stew-Stras cruised to 4-0 to start the season by knocking the Arcola Riders out of the saddle on Monday, 25-12, 25-12, then burying Beecher City on Tuesday, 25-11, 25-8.
“Everyone seemed to be on, contributing to the win in some way,” said Comet coach Ronda Schlechte. “I’m very happy with team play and communication is getting better, serving seemed to be a strong point.”
Becca Schlechte served up four of nine Comet aces. Baylee Quast and Brittani Tabbert had two each and Lindsay Burton one. Six different Comets swung for kills. Tabbert led the way with four, followed by Burton and Schlechte with three each. Quast dished a team-high eight assists, followed by Schlechte with four.
Seven Comets combined for 24 digs. Knop led the crew with seven digs, followed by Schlechte with five.
“Offense and defense are both coming along nicely,” Coach Schlechte said.
Stew-Stras def. Arcola, 25-12, 25-12
Stew stats: Becca Schlechte 4 aces, 3 kills, 4 assists, 5 digs; Baylee Quast 2 aces, 1 kill, 8 assists, 3 digs; Kendall Knop 2 kills, 7 digs; Brittani Tabbert 2 aces, 4 kills, 4 digs, .5 blocks; Lindsay Burton 1 ace, 3 kills, 2 digs; Morgan Stremming 1 dig, .5 blocks; Sarah Locke 1 kill, 1 assist, 1 dig.
Stew-Stras def. Arcola 25-21, 25-19
Stew stats: Jill Conder 13 assists, 2 digs; Clara Kaufman 1 ace, 5 kills, 4 digs; Skylar Vonderheide 5 kills, 5 digs; Vanessa Milby 3 digs; Kasee Garrett 1 kill, 1 assist, 6 digs; Brittany Ballinger 1 ace, 3 kills; Kaitlin Slifer 3 aces, 3 kills, 3 digs; Schlechte 1 ace, 1 kill, 5 digs; Olivia Gratz 1 kill.
The next night, Stew-Stras took care of business again, this time against Beecher City, delivering 18 aces and out-scoring BC, 50-19.
“We started off a little slow, letting Beecher City start with a lead,” Coach Schlechte said. “Then our seniors kicked in with Brittani Tabbert taking a 5-point stretch, followed by Sarah Locke with a 9-point run. In game 2, Kendall Knop added 6 aces from her 9-point streak.”
Knop and Tabbert served up six aces, each. Baylee Quast added three, Locke two, and Schlechte one. The Comets swung for 19 kills in the too-quick, 2-game set. Burton led them with six kills and the only block for seven net points. She was followed by Tabbert and Knop with four each.
Schlechte and Quast teamed up for 15 assists towards 19 kills. Schlechte had eight and Quast seven. Locke and Knop co-led the 11-dig defense with four digs each. Burton rose for the only Comet block to give her seven net points.
“The girls really increased their confidence with some strong hitting,” Coach Schlechte said. “Hopefully, that will pull us through the game on Thursday against Altamont.”
Stew-Stras (4-0, 2-0 NTC) hosts Altamont on Thursday. Beecher City hosts Neoga.
Stew-Stras def. Beecher City, 25-11, 25-8
Stew stats: Schlechte 1 ace, 3 kills, 8 assists, 1 dig; Quast 3 aces, 7 assists, 1 dig; Knop 6 aces, 4 kills, 4 digs; Tabbert 6 aces, 4 kills, 1 dig; Burton 6 kills, 1 block; Stremming 2 kills, 1 assist; Locke 2 aces, 4 digs.
BC stats: Kacie Hilt 3 assists; Leah Kelly 1 kill, 1 assist; Kirby Herrmann 2 digs, 1 kill; Angel Haslett 1 dig; Kirsten Buzzard 4 digs, 2 kills; Caitlin Sloan 1 ace, 1 dig
Stew-Stras def. Beecher City, 25-16, 25-23
Stew Stats: Conder 4a ces, 1 kill, 10 assists; Kaufman 3 aces, 4 kills; Vonderheide 3 aces, 3 kills; Garrett 1 assist, 3 digs; Ballinger 3 kills, 1 dig; Kristina Beitz 2 aces; Gratz 4 aces, 1 dig.