Solon junior Grace KeithBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Filling in for head coach Sarah Ferin on Thursday Solon assistant coach Jeff Walker kept his pregame talk short.
“He just said ‘be aggressive’,” Solon junior Jess Heick said. “That’s all we talked about in the huddle.”
The Spartans heard that message loud and clear.
Solon used aggressive serving that resulted in 16 aces to sweep Central DeWitt 25-13, 25-19, 25-20 in a WAMAC East Division match in Solon.
“He didn’t say anything else he just said be aggressive,” Heick said. “That’s what we did starting at the service line.”
Solon junior Jess Heick Heick led the Solon serving assault with six aces including four in the opening set as the Spartans set the tone.
Five different players had at least two aces as Solon had four or more aces in all three sets.
“I think we really worked hard on our serves and amped it up a little bit,” said Grace Keith who had two aces. “I think that was a big component of the night was getting our serves in and putting pressure on them and eliminating our unforced errors.”
The win snapped a 10-match losing skid for Solon (6-19) which had lost 13 of its previous 14 matches.
Keith had a team-high 11 kills for Solon on Thursday and Heick added nine as the Spartans won for the first time since Sept. 10.
“I can’t even explain what this means to us,” Keith said. “You look at our record that’s just not our team. If you watch us it’s like ‘wow that cannot be their record’ so I just we wanted to prove to ourselves that we could win this match because we know we have the ability and the talent. Just going out and executing was the really important thing for us.”
Solon had eight aces in the first set while rolling to a 25-13 win.
The Spartans opened the match with a 6-1 run that featured an ace from Heick and two from Abby Smith.
“Once you start going you just get on a run and then you can slowly get more aggressive because you are more warmed up and more comfortable with what you are doing,” Heick said. “We won the first set and we knew we could beat this team.”
Solon pulled away midway through the second set, using a 6-1 run to turning a one-point lead into a 19-13 cushion.
Rachel Nelson had a pair of kills during the 6-1 spurt that gave Solon a lead it would never give up.
“We were getting to the point where it was a confidence thing,” Nelson said. “We just really needed a win under the belt to give us a boost.”
Solon trailed 5-2 early in the third set but pulled even at 10-10 and snapped a 12-all tie with a 7-0 run that featured two ace serves from Heick.
Smith finished with three aces while Keith, Nelson and Ali Diersen all had two aces.
“We just tried our best to keep our serves in as we were getting warmed up and once we got going we were serving zones and hitting them harder,” Nelson said. “We were able to put some in good places.”
Solon 25 25 25
Central DeWitt 13 19 20
Jess Heick 9-6-0, Grace Keith 11-2-1, Ashley Ford 0-0-1, Raysa Garbes 0-1-0, Rachel Nelson 7-2-0, Paige Gallagher 1-0-1, Ali Diersen 0-2-0, Abby Smith 2-3-1, Team 30-16-4.
Assists – Raysa Garbes 10, Rachel Nelson 7, Grace Keith 5, Jess Heick 1.
Victoria Banowetz 2-1-0, Emily Cornelius 5-0-3, Mya Cavangh 2-0-0, Erin Wisco 0-1-0, Emily Vargas 4-2-0, Emily Swanson 1-0-0, Kaylee Kuehl 4-0-0, Team 18-4-3.
Assists – Erin Wisco 7, Victoria Banowetz 3.