Brodhead’s volleyball team made an early-season statement Thursday night against Big Foot.
It appears the Cardinals are here, and the young team is likely to be around for a while.
The Cardinals moved to 3-0 on the young Rock Valley Conference season with an efficient sweep of longtime rival Big Foot. After back-to-back wins of 25-16, the Cardinals closed things out with a 25-19 win over the Chiefs.
Brodhead’s lineup, chock full of underclassmen, also features key seniors Katie Goecks and Catherine Speckman.
Goecks was a force in the middle with nine kills and added three aces along the way. Speckman had 11 digs and played a terrific floor game.
Goecks said the team began to come together in the summer.
“I actually had knee surgery this summer, so I couldn’t participate in the offseason stuff,” she said. “But as hard as it was to coach them instead of playing with them, it was great because a lot of other people stepped up.”
Goecks said a lineup change has impacted the team’s fortunes.
“When we began the season, we were a 6-2 team, and that’s how we played our first couple of tournaments,” Goecks said. “Since then, we’ve switched to a 5-1 (which features one setter, regardless of where she is on the floor), and that’s changed a lot just in the last two weeks. I would expect it to get even better as we get more reps with that system.”
A pair of freshmen played critical roles in Thursday’s success. Towering Abbie Dix had four blocks and five kills, while the versatile Alexis Kammerer finished the match with 30 assists, 15 digs and a pair of kills.
Brodhead coach Erin Kammerer said she was extremely pleased with her team’s play against the Chiefs.
“I saw a lot of improvement even from our match Tuesday against Turner,” Kammerer said. “This is a group that has taken every practice and every adjustment and taken it to the game. Big Foot always comes ready to win, so this was big for us to take it in three.”
The Cardinals competed with the energy that their coach felt was a big part of their success.
“That’s been our focus,” Kammerer said. “We talk a lot about why they are there and why they love the game and how important it is to play for your teammates.”
The Chiefs, who in years past have fielded squads full of year-round club players, don’t have that type of experience this year.
Big Foot was led by Lindsay Paulsen’s five kills and two blocks, while Reagan Courier had four aces. Greer Lettenberger finished the match with 13 digs and six assists.
“We are a team that is still trying to figure out a lineup,” Chiefs coach Caitlin Dowden said. “Usually at this point of a season, you’ve got something figured out. But we are struggling to find consistency. We have a lot of talent, but right now we’re so afraid of making mistakes out there that we aren’t just going out and playing the way we are capable of.”
Both teams play in an invite Saturday at Edgerton.
BRODHEAD 3, BIG FOOT 0
Walworth Big Foot 15 16 19
Brodhead 25 25 25
Brodhead leaders: Aces—Sabrina Siegel and Katie Goecks 3; Kills—Siegel 10; Assists—Alexis Kammerer 30