CUERO — St. Joseph needed a pick-me-up.
The Lady Flyers struggled at a tournament in Dallas over the weekend and coach Christa Swanlund said she didn’t recognize the team she saw.
St. Joseph responded by sweeping Cuero (25-19, 25-14, 25-18) on Tuesday night at the Cuero gym.
The Lady Flyers (17-4) had three players reach double figures in kills, three pick up double-digit digs and two pick up double-digit assists.
Seniors Ryan Ward and Kerigan Baumgartner, and freshman Adison Ozuna, each had 10 kills for the Lady Flyers to set the pace.
Sophomore setter Morgan Korinek notched 21 assists to go with four digs, two aces, two kills and a block.
St. Joseph, behind a well-distributed offense, found its groove.
“It was crucial,” Swanlund said. “I saw on Saturday a team I had never seen before. It was just a poor volleyball day. To see them come out and play like that didn’t even happen really was a relief to me because it shows they can overcome a little bit of adversity and excel.”
It was a breakout game for Ozuna. Swanlund expected the 6-foot-tall freshman to be a factor in the Lady Flyers’ offense.
She was able to pick up four kills in each the second and third sets to help St. Joseph back into the win column.
Ozuna is beginning to adjust to her first year at the high school level.
“I think after me and the setters connected, everything just went together and we started getting kills after kills,” Ozuna said. “I was able to spot the block and hit around it. Me and our setter worked really well together.”
Freshman Addison Ozuna is stepping up to become a third option in attack for the Lady Flyers. pic.twitter.com/ZcgA9V9VbA— Sam Fowler (THE Fat Punter) (@FowlerSports14) September 15, 2021
Ozuna hopes to join the senior tandem of Baumgartner and Ward as a weapon at the net with her newfound confidence.
The defending TAPPS 5A state champions welcome a more diverse attack.
“I think we’re really fluid right now,” Ward said. “Being able to set all three positions means a lot in a game. And playing a big team like Cuero really helps us to have all those options.”
The Lady Gobblers (20-9) suffered their third consecutive loss, but head coach Chelsie Lemley wasn’t horribly concerned with the non-district result.
“We scheduled these good, tough teams with a good strong tradition of winning on purpose, not by accident,” Lemley said. “We want to play teams used to winning and are going to show us some good, fast volleyball.”
Instead, she was pleased to see Ashley Price and sophomore setter Bromli Watson connect. The two connected four times in the third set.
Price finished with a team-high eight kills. Watson had 13 assists.
“It’s encouraging,” Lemley said. “We encourage our hitters to make adjustments, all of them. When the set’s not there or the pass is not there, it’s their job to make adjustments and I thought Ashley did a good job of doing that tonight.”
St. Joseph 3, Cuero 0
St. Joseph 25 25 25
Cuero 19 14 18
Highlights: (SJ) Kerigan Baumgarter 10 kills, 10 digs, 3 aces; Adison Ozuna 10 kills, 3 blocks, dig, ace; Ryan Ward 10 kills, 5 digs, 3 blocks; Morgan Korinek 21 assists, 4 digs, 2 kills, 2 aces, block; Maddie Stefka 10 assists, 8 digs; Rhianna Reyes 15 digs; Anna Valenzuela 12 digs (C) Ashley Price 8 kills; Bromli Watson 14 assists, 2 blocks, ace; Zha’vanna Gray 10 digs.
Records: St. Joseph 17-4; Cuero 20-9