Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Ste. Genevieve Dragons beat Valle Catholic 2-0 and were crowned conference champions on Thursday.
The Dragons had a long day Thursday. They hosted the conference tournament and participated in the first and last of four total matches played on their home floor. They took care of business early in the day and got past North County in straight sets. They then watched as Valle Catholic bounced Cape Central from the tournament and won a free chance to try and tame the Dragons on their home floor… in what was the biggest game of their season.
Both teams came prepared. They battled back and forth in the first set and exchanged rally for rally. Ste. Gen came out on top 25-23. It was much of the same in the second set. Valle’s backs were against the wall and they played like it. They led for much of the second set, but the Dragons rallied almost purely off their energy. Every point resulted in a roar from the floor and the bench, and was injected into the crowd.
“I think we did really good on our energy,” senior Marysa Flieg said. “Our energy was a big part of keeping us up in momentum.”
It was as loud as a socially distanced gym could get. The Dragons won the second set 25-20 and claimed the conference title.
“We played together as a team when things weren’t going our way,” head coach Carla Basler said. “We focused on getting the very next point, which was a really big goal of ours coming into tonight.”
Flieg and Junior Abby Moore led the way in kills with seven each. Sophomore Dru Koetting was just behind with six, while Sophomore Arie Taylor nipped at her heels her with five. Taylor also contributed two aces, which led the team.
“Cross town rivalry is huge,” senior Maci Reynolds said. “It takes a win and multiplies it by ten.”
Senior Brittney Kreitler distributed the ball all over the place the entire night. She picked up 27 assists. Koetting and Sophomore Lexi Palmer each picked up seven digs. Reynolds led in serve receptions with 16.
These Dragons don’t want to settle for just a conference title though, as their aspirations are now sky-high after the big win. Next up is a district title.
“We have to focus on one game at a time and making sure that we’re playing our game,” Basler said. “We have a lot of different weapons as hitters, we have great passing and we have a setter who’s phenomenal… And they play together as a team and they all really like each other on and off the volleyball court.”
The Dragons start that journey against Potosi on Wednesday, Oct. 28.