Support our mission
 
Naples libero Kennedy Rascoe bumps the ball in front of teammate Jillian Brown during the Wildcats 25-16, 25-19, 25-14 victory on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Naples libero Kennedy Rascoe bumps the ball in front of teammate Jillian Brown during the Wildcats 25-16, 25-19, 25-14 victory on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy – The names change. The faces are different. But the results are pretty similar.

And the latest set of standout sisters have the Naples Wildcats leading the DODEA-Europe Division II volleyball scene.

Senior Audrey Villarreal and sophomore Josie Villarreal combined for 14 kills and 14 assists Friday as the Wildcats stayed unbeaten on the season with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-14 victory over the Aviano Saints.

Aviano's Elaina Holsclaw, right, and Jaycee Spence get set to return the ball Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, against the Naples Wildcats. Holsclaw hit the ball back to the Wildcats, who prevailed 25-16, 25-19, 25-14.
Aviano's Elaina Holsclaw, right, and Jaycee Spence get set to return the ball Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, against the Naples Wildcats. Holsclaw hit the ball back to the Wildcats, who prevailed 25-16, 25-19, 25-14. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

First-year coach Biannca Recoder might not be up on the recent history of Naples volleyball that has featured the likes of Marissa and Sierra Dye and three Sasse sisters – Victoria, Roxanne and Gabriella – but she knows how this team wins.

“You can hear me saying, ‘set it up, set it up,” she said. “If they set it up, we’re going to score.”

The formula was pretty simple Friday as Naples scored almost all of its offensive points from two spots on the court: the service line and the left front of the net. And the Villarreal sisters were the culprits for most of the night.

Naples sophomore Josie Villarreal connects on a serve Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, during the Wildcats 25-16, 25-19, 25-14 victory over Aviano.
Naples sophomore Josie Villarreal connects on a serve Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, during the Wildcats 25-16, 25-19, 25-14 victory over Aviano. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

The closest set was actually the final one. Aviano had a bit of momentum when it broke Audrey Villarreal’s serve and trailed by three points 18-15. But the Wildcats scored the rest of the points and went on to the sweep.

It was much the same story in the first and second sets with key Naples runs making the difference. The Wildcats were up 12-10 in the opening set before reeling off nine straight. They led 13-10 in the second before scoring six of the next seven points.

Aviano didn’t do itself any favors with a slew of errors. The Saints particularly had trouble returning serve.

“The girls just have to move their feet and get in position to return serve,” Aviano coach Michael Gros said.

Though the Wildcats will be the prohibitive favorites for the season-ending tournament Oct. 29-30 in Vicenza, Gros said he thought his team “absolutely” had a chance to beat them in a rematch Saturday or at the tournament.

Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
twitter Email

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up