They say cream rises to the top, but in South Shelby County the State-Runner-up Comets rise to the top. On Thursday, Stew-Stras went to 4-0 (3-0 NTC) by besting Altamont, 25-19, 23-25, 25-12.

"Altamont gave us a great competition," said Comet coach Ronda Schlechte. "It was a great match to play before the Crossroads Classic Tournament."

Stew-Stras plays Friday and Saturday at the annual Effingham Crossroads Tourney that includes 2A schools.

"We really struggled in game 2 with communication and serves. But, I'm proud of how the girls came out in game 3 and took care of business. You have to be mentally tough to do that and they did."

With Becca Schlechte back in the line-up, the Comets were still able work through it, even against stiff competition. Schlechte broke out with a team-high four aces,  team-high 11 kills, and six digs.

Freshman Maria Gentry, who stood in for Schlechte in her absence, also served three aces, swung for six kills and a had a block assist. Kendall Knop had just four kills, but asisted in two blocks and ran the offense, dishing 13 assists and leading the defense with seven digs. Clara Kaufman was a net defender with three kills and assisted in four blocks.

"We were able to work on some nice plays tonight. Altamont put up a big block and we struggled at times to get around it. We still have several things to work on, but they are coming along nicely."

Freshman Courtney Probst had a solid game with three aces, two kills, three assists, and three digs. Freshmen Whitney Smith and Lexi Vonderheide contributed on defense with two and three digs, respectively.

Stew-Stras (4-0, 3-0 NTC) head to the Crossroads Classic Friday and Saturday. The varsity and the JV (2-2, 2-1 NTC) host Teutopolis on Tuesday.

Thursday

Varsity

Stew-Stras def. Altamont, 25-19, 23-25, 25-12

Stew stats: Kendall Knop 2 aces, 4 kills, 13 assists, 7 digs, 2 Blck ast; Becca Schlechte 4 aces, 11 kills, 5 assists, 6 digs; Clara Kaufman 2 aces, 3 kills, 1 dig, 4 block asts; JIll Conder 2 aces, 2 kills, 6 assists, 2 digs, 1 block ast; Maria Gentry 3 aces, 6 kills, 5 digs, 1 block ast; Whitney Smith 2 digs; Courtney Probst 3 aces, 2 kills, 3 assists, 3 digs; Lexi Vonderheide 3 digs. 

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