ELGIN — They didn’t have a chance.
Elgin Public-Pope John opened the 2015 volleyball season with a pair of impressive victories Thursday night.
Playing in a double-triangular, the Wolfpack saved their best for the final match of the night, defeating Clearwater/Orchard in straight sets 25-10 and 25-13.
The victory capped a big night. “It was great to start the season 2-0,” Coach Tina Thiele-Blecher said. “We saw some things that we need to improve on but (I) was very happy with how the girls came out.”
The Wolfpack got off to a quick start in the first set. Jenna Parks had two kills and an ace tip as the team jumped out to a 10 to 4 lead on the Cyclones.
The lead grew with an ace block from Terri Seier and an ace tip.
An ace serve by Cyclone Katie Funk made the score 15 to 8. Then, the Wolfpack went on a 10 to one run to close out the set. Jordan Mescher had two ace serves during the run and Amy Nelson had a solo block.
In the second set, kills by Liz Selting and Parks helped the Wolfpack take a six to two lead.
The lead grew to 10 to 4 when Jill Schindler recorded a kill at the net.
The teams then traded points before another kill from Selting made the score 17 to 11. EPPJ then closed out the match with an eight to two run. Calli Krebs came off the bench to serve and sophomore Grace Henn came in the front row. Henn had one kill in limited action.
The Wolfpack had 16 kills in the match, led by Parks with six, Selting had four, Schindler was credited with two.
They were 44 of 48 from the service line with five aces. Mescher led the Wolfpack with three aces, Baylie Wemhoff and Selting each had one.
Amy Nelson, Paige Meis and Parks each had two solo blocks, Selting had one.
Selting led the team in digs with six, Mescher had four and Nikki Beckman contributed three.
Wemhoff led the Wolfpack with seven set assists. Selting was tops in serve receive with eight, Mescher had five.
The Wolfpack’s first match of the season was one of the most competitive of the night as it took three sets to defeat Chambers/Wheeler Central 21-25, 28-26 and 25-18.
The Renegades gave the Wolfpack a hotly-contested match for the first two sets. After winning the first set, CWC fell behind early in the second set as the Wolfpack took advantage of strong net play by Paige Meis and kills from Nelson and Seier to build a 13 to 8 lead. The Renegades then tied the score at 22-all as Jacie Laetsch and Regan Dierks had success hitting against Wolfpack blockers.
Twice the Renegades had match point with their serve and twice the Wolfpack denied them. Seier saved one match point with a kill at the net, Meis did the same on a second match point to keep the match going.
Then it was the Wolfpack’s turn and they made it happen as a kill by Selting gave them set point which they won behind the serve of Parks.
In the decisive third set, three kills by Selting and six service points from Parks gave EPPJ an early nine to three lead. The lead grew to eight points, 17 to 9 with an ace block from Nelson and two service points from Nikki Beckman.
EPPJ then later closed out the match with kills at the net from Seier, Parks and Meis.
“I was proud of the girls having GRIT during that second set with CWC and not folding, pushing ahead for the win,” Thiele-Blecher said. “We need to get back to work with six games next week. We have a huge week with alot of tough competition.”
Against CWC, Selting led the Wolfpack with 15 kills, Seier had seven followed by Meis with six, Nelson had three as did Parks, Jill Schindler recorded one kill.
The team was 73 of 76 from the service line. They had five ace serves, Beckman and Parks each had two and Mescher added one.
EPPJ recorded 17 solo blocks in the match, led by Schindler with six, Meis and Seier each had four and Nelson had three.
Selting led the team in digs with five.
Parks recorded a team-high 11 set assists, Wemhoff had seven and Schindler added six.
Mescher led the team in serve receive with 22, Selting had 12.
ELGIN — They didn’t have a chance.