Soroco paces game against West Grand |

Soroco paces game against West Grand

Soroco junior Shelby Miles catches a volley as her team closed out a four-game victory against West Grand on Thursday in Oak Creek.
Joel Reichenberger

— It wasn’t powerful swings and big blocks that made the difference Thursday night as the Soroco High School volleyball team beat West Grand for the second time in less than a week.
Instead of power, the Rams relied on patience, and instead of force, they were powered by finesse. 

It all amounted to the a four-game victory against the visiting Mustangs, 22-25, 25-17, 25-18 and 25-13.

“We’re working together really well, and it’s all coming together,” senior setter Caitlyn Berry said. “We’re just having fun.”

Soroco wasn’t without its big hits.

The team served well, especially with a jump serve Berry said was added to her repertoire in practice only last week.
Senior Corey Snyder led the way, slamming home 11 kills. Junior outside hitter Lindsay Miles added nine more.

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“That was great for Lindsay because we’ve been working really hard to get her hits over and in,” Soroco coach Kim Reeves said.

Still, it was a more deliberate pace that defined the win for the Rams.

Their defense in the home-opening match was much improved from when the team last played in front of its home fans last fall.

Sitting on a healthy 13-6 lead in the fourth game, the girls began to celebrate when it appeared they’d scored with a kill. A Mustang defender barely managed to dig the attack, however, returning the ball awkwardly over the net as half the Soroco lineup had their backs turned.

They woke up just in time, corralling the ball and sending it back over, scoring a second later on a West Grand error.

“All of them have developed a maturity,” Reeves said. “They are such smarter volleyball players now. They are all better about thinking, deciding when to slam the ball and when to place it.

“It’s such a mental game and if we can keep that part with us, we’ll keep going.”

That same approach paid off on offense, as well. Rather than hammer kills, the team worked to drop balls behind the defenders’ front row.

After losing the first game, Soroco pulled away midway through the second and third games. The fourth was no contest, Reeves subbing in underclassmen after her girls earned a 20-10 lead.

“Our passing was really good and that allowed us to speed up our offense,” Berry said.

Soroco now has a week to consider its early season success. A match scheduled for today against De Beque was canceled, meaning the Rams won’t take the court again until a Sept. 24 trip to Vail Christian.

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