Helias rolls to volleyball victory against Battle on Senior Night

Helias setter Brittney Engelbrecht places her shot just beyond the reach of Battle outside hitter Asia Tiford during the second game of Monday night’s match at Rackers Fieldhouse.

Helias setter Brittney Engelbrecht places her shot just beyond the reach of Battle outside hitter Asia Tiford during the second game of Monday night’s match at Rackers Fieldhouse. Photo by Kris Wilson.

David Harris wanted his Helias Lady Crusaders to accomplish a few goals Monday night.

Pick up a Senior Night victory. Get Anna Murphy some playing time and finish injury-free. Give some younger girls a chance at their first varsity experience.

Check, check and check.

“Those are all good things that we tried to accomplish,” Harris said following Helias’ 25-10, 25-8 victory against Battle at Rackers Fieldhouse.

Helias cruised to a comfortable victory on Senior Night while celebrating the playing careers of three seniors — Murphy, Brittney Engelbrecht and Tori Keller.

“I have been able to watch all three of these girls from a very young age,” Harris said. “That’s always very rewarding to watch them, not only as volleyball players, they’re just great kids. They’re fun to be around, they’re good students, they’re what high-school athletes are supposed to be.

“They’re good examples for the other kids, so I hope the younger kids have been watching them through the years and have learned some things from them.”

Murphy, who hasn’t played since a Sept. 19 victory against Hermann due to an ankle injury, finally got to return to the court on Senior Night. She registered a pair of kills in the first set, the second of which gave Helias a 16-6 advantage, and exited the game.

“Another good thing is Anna Murphy got to play a little bit,” Harris said. “We were able to work her in a little bit in practice, so hopefully in the next week or so she’ll be back full-time. Since this was Senior Night and everything we thought we’d let her play a little bit, which is good because her timing is going to be off because she hasn’t done much in about three weeks.”

Helias didn’t have much trouble in the first set. With a 9-5 lead early on, the Lady Crusaders went on an 11-1 run to break the game open. Three aces by Erica Haslag and a pair of kills from Tory Wiley highlighted the surge. Helias’ biggest lead of the set came at 24-8 on an ace from Engelbrecht.

“We figured it could happen that way if we served tough and if you get them where they’re giving us free balls, then we should be able to get some strong attacks and make some runs,” Harris said. “We were able to do that tonight.”

The second set was more of the same.

With the outcome almost inevitable, Helias managed to get the rest of its 16-player varsity roster some playing time in the second set.

“We got to try a couple different lineups,” Harris said. “We got to get some people a little bit of varsity experience that never had gotten varsity experience before.”

Helias was never seriously threatened in the second set. Already with a comfortable 12-6 edge, the Lady Crusaders rattled off eight consecutive points to remove any doubt. Four aces from Maddie Dunkmann led the way.

Molly Sandbothe paced Helias with five kills in the match, while Wiley added four and Haslag had three. Engelbrecht and Ashley Dudenhoeffer both registered seven assists. Haslag had two blocks.

Helias (15-3) travels Thursday to Blair Oaks.

Helias won the JV match 25-5, 25-10 to improve to 22-2.

Hannah Eynard and Megan Brown led the way with four kills apiece. Courtney Hilke added three. Lexy Lamb collected six assists, while Heidi Strobel had four and Andi Gladbach had three.

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