Sigonella too much for Aviano to handle
Sigonella's Sydney Moore spikes the ball into two Aviano defenders, Sadie Hellwig and Viyanna Johnson Saturday, during a match at Vicenza, Italy. The Jaguars blanked the Saints, 24-14, 26-24, 25-20 and 25-16, 26-24, 25-20.
Stars and Stripes
VICENZA, Italy – The Sigonella Jaguars girls volleyball team sent a barrage of heat seekers over the net against Aviano during two matches Saturday, hitting every open spot on the court they could find and sweeping the Saints.
Sigonella came into Saturday’s games after losing Friday night to Vicenza. Determined not to have a repeat, the Jaguars pulled together to win both matches against Aviano, 24-14, 26-24, 25-20 and 25-16, 26-24, 25-20.
“We played a smart game by playing the gaps and watching the other team on the court and making adjustments,” Sigonella coach Shawn McCarthy said.
The Jaguars’ Sydney Moore set the pace early on in the matches by sending aces across the net and scoring kills as well. McCarthy credited her with seven aces and six kills total.
The bombarding of Aviano’s front didn’t end with Moore. Sigonella’s Rachel Vosler, an All-Europe selectee last year, was a key player in numerous plays that earned the Jaguars a point. Piling up 16 assists, she played the court only to put the ball where it needed to be – in a scoring position.
“I feel when I have a part in the play, I can help to give the team a sense of security by putting the ball where it needs to be,” said Vosler, who also earned 17 kills.
Aviano’s Viyanni Johnson sent several balls singing across the net that ended on the floor between a few Jaguars’ legs. Johnson, assisted by Jasmine Cole, teamed up to earn Aviano a handful of blocked points. They created a two-person wall that held long enough to slow Sigonella – for a short period.
Aviano’s Sadie Hellwig continually set up her teammates for scoring opportunities, but the Saints generally failed to capitalize.
Aviano rallied in the second set despite an injury to starter Sabrina Huerta. Hellwig scored a couple points off digs, while Midori Sakagawa sent some aces across. The flame soon fizzled out, though, after a series of defensive lapses.
“We need to be able to hit better than they can dig or dig better than they can hit, but they were better at both today,” Aviano coach Hans Hillestad said. “It’s not a game for the timid,” he added, referring to a lack of aggression his team often displayed.