IC Catholic cools off red-hot Fenton
The Fenton volleyball program is enjoying its best season in decades, but on Tuesday night the Bison took a step back and once again came up short in a battle with IC Catholic Prep.
Fresh off a 5-0 run to the title at the Ridgewood tournament, Fenton took to its home floor against the Knights with a 16-4 mark. But some sloppy serving and off-target attacks by Fenton helped ICCP come away with a 25-14, 25-18 victory.
"We're having a great season, but that was the worst match by far," Bison coach Kelly Kleidorfer said. "Too many hitting errors, and too passing errors. They're finally coming (to matches) happy, and that's half the battle. But there's something about IC. I don't know, but it gets them every time."
ICCP was led by solid outsides Maya Stovall, a senior, and Jess Sobon, a sophomore. Sobon, who closed the first set with a winning tip, had 10 kills in the match while Stovall added 8.
"Our outsides have been our bread and butter this year, which is a little different for us. I think in the previous years we've struggled with efficiency from the outside," Knights coach Nancy D'Amore said. "These two have really stepped up. It's like one comes in, one comes out. I don't feel like we're losing anything. It's great to have and I know their teammates are counting on them and they've stepped up."
For Fenton, senior veterans like Vicky Krzyszkowski in the middle and four-year setter MacKenzie Miller have been stepping up for the program for years now, but the results were not too great until this season. Krzyszkowski, who recorded 3 kills and an ace, has noticed a much improved attitude with the Bison this year.
"I honestly think we're playing amazing. This might be our best team in three decades," the 2017 all-conference selection said. "I'm so proud of my team. Tonight was a tough loss, but we've come so far.
"Being 16-5 for Fenton is amazing. We're not really known necessarily to win, but we're changing the culture. The puzzle has finally come together and it's an amazing feeling. We can walk into a game and not feel like we're going to lose every single one. We walk in confidently and know we can put up a fight."
The Knights, now 8-5, jumped ahead 13-4 in Tuesday's opener and eventually closed the set after late winners from Stovall and Sobon and a missed serve by the hosts. The Bison started stronger in the second set and led 15-12 following a powerful kill from Julianna Krebasch. ICCP stormed back for the sweep, however, after a trio of aces from libero Isabella Leslie put the visitors back on top and then setter Sophie Hurt helped her offense close that second game with a 13-6 charge to victory.
"I felt that when we played a faster tempo in the second set we really had the upper hand," Stovall said. "We're practicing on playing a faster tempo and just doing our thing. I like to be the anchor for the offense, but I also like to have the middles and rightsides have a hand in there. But I like to know the setter knows she can set me and have faith that I'll put it down."