Andy Kimball is not sure if Thursday’s match sent shockwaves around the Big Eight Conference.
But Janesville Parker’s head coach acknowledged his Vikings’ road sweep of Middleton will likely go far in showing his players they can play with—and beat—teams at the top end of the conference standings.
The Vikings were relentless late in each of the three sets and held on to win them all, 25-22, 27-25, 25-23. Both teams now sit at 5-2 and are tied for third place in the Big Eight.
“It was a big night for this program. Everyone played really, really well,” Kimball said. “I don’t know if it’ll be a statement to the other teams, but it is for our girls, because it shows them we can beat some of these teams perennially near the top.
“Whenever we had a lull tonight, the girls stood tough and made big plays at the end.”
Parker led for most of a close first game to set the tone.
In the second, the Vikings jumped out to a 10-5 lead but had to hang on the rest of the way. It was 23-21 when Middleton called its final timeout, and Parker fended off the Cardinals from there.
The Vikings trailed early in the third but rallied and then staved off another comeback bid thanks to critical kills from senior Tina Shelton and sophomore Jayda Schober.
“It was a really tight match the whole time,” Kimball said. “The most important thing for us is to just be consistent and balanced.”
Senior Rachel Van Beek led the way with 14 kills and nine digs. Senior setter Shay Riley dished out 33 assists and added five kills and six digs. Shelton finished with nine kills and eight digs.
“Rachel just made really, really good decisions with her hitting all night,” Kimball said. “Tina might have had one of the hardest hits we’ve had since I’ve been coach here. And Shay put our hitters in good situations.”
Parker plays in a tournament at Craig on Saturday.
PARKER 3, MIDDLETON 0Janesville Parker 25 27 25
Middleton 22 25 23
Parker statistics (aces-kills-assists-blocks-digs): Carlie Curtis 0-0-3-0-8, Emma Perry 0-0-1-0-5, Grace Williams 0-0-0-0-0, Jayda Schober 0-6-0-2-0, Jenna Gackstatter 3-2-0-0-0, Kylee Skrzypchak 0-1-0-2-0, Lexi Walters 2-0-0-0-1, Rachel Van Beek 2-14-0-0-9, Shay Riley 0-5-33-0-6, Tina Shelton 1-9-0-0-8.