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The Daily



09-17-03: St. Henry stays perfect in MAC

Standard Correspondent

ST. HENRY — Last evening at the St. Henry Middle School Gymnasium, the St. Henry Redskins played host to the Versailles Tigers in a key Midwest Athletic Conference showdown for both schools.
The Redskins were looking to stay perfect in the conference race, while Versailles was fighting to keep their title hopes alive as they entered the contest with one MAC loss.
Following an opening game in which the two teams combined for more than 30 sideouts, the Redskins held on for a 15-11 win and were also able to prevail in the second game of the match 15-8, improving their record to 11-1 on the season.
“We came into tonight’s game knowing Versailles had a very good team,” explained St. Henry’s Lori Schwieterman. “We wanted to get on top of them early and play aggressive. We looked a little sluggish at times, but the girls were able to take the momentum away when needed and came out with a big league win.”
In the opener, St. Henry got the scoring underway first when a block by a pair of juniors in Cami Lefeld and Lindsay Puthoff went unreturned, putting the home team ahead, 1-0. The Tigers tied the contest on their next serve, but St. Henry answered with the game’s next four points to take a 5-1 lead.
Following a small collection of sideouts, Versailles made their first run of the evening, picking up the next three points to pull within one at 5-4. Senior Kim Hess served St. Henry’s next two points as her team extended their lead to 7-4.
Once again, the visitors battled back to within a point, but the rally was quickly killed when the Tigers’ Rachel Schmitz was called for a lift. The Redskins gained an 8-6 lead when a kill by junior Lanee Mikesell went unreturned, but the Tigers refused to die.
Senior Cheri Stammen scored a pair of points to tie the contest at eight, but the Redskins answered with a deuce of their own behind the serves of junior Maria Wuebker and Puthoff. The two teams traded sideouts before Kim Hess extended the Redskins’ lead to 13-8 with three successful serves. The Tigers, however, wouldn’t go down easy, as they once again stuck close, pulling to within two points at 13-11. Senior Nicole Elking took matters into her own hands and served the contest’s final two points to give her Redskins the 15-11 victory in the initial game.
“St. Henry showed tonight why they’re the top offensive and defensive team we have faced all season,” said Tigers coach Jeremy Riley. “We have a motto when we play St. Henry and it’s to kill or be killed, and tonight they set up their big hitters very well and we had some trouble with that at times.”
In game number two, Versailles took early command by jumping out to the 3-0 lead, but from that point on, it was all St. Henry.
The Redskins responded with eight unanswered points, powered by some big blocks and kills from Elking and senior Lindsay Hess to move ahead 8-3. The Tigers scored a pair of points to cut the St. Henry lead to three, but junior Christa Schwartz ended the rally by picking up three quick points from behind the serving line.
Trailing 11-5, Riley’s girls conjured up three unanswered points to claw their way back into the game, but from there the Redskins left little doubt as the state’s number one-ranked team in Division IV netted the game’s final four points for the 15-8 win.
Wuebker picked up her team’s 12th point and Kim Hess gave the Redskins the 14-8 lead with a pair of counters and some nice kills by Elking and Lindsay Hess. Six side outs later, Schwartz served up the game winner to push the Redskins to 4-0 in the Midwest Athletic Conference.
“I thought Nicole and Lindsay had great games for us tonight,” complimented Schwieterman. “They both hit the ball very well and recovered nicely when things didn’t go our way, and that’s something we like to see.”
The Redskins will be back in action tomorrow evening against Jeanette Vaughn’s Coldwater Cavaliers at the Palace in Coldwater, while the Tigers, who slip to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the conference, will travel north to Delphos to face the St. John’s Blue Jays in league action tomorrow night as well.


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