‘Real sweet’: Soroco tops Vail Christian to remain undefeated

Soroco High School senior Sophia Benjamin eyes the ball as she rises into the air. The Rams started league play against Vail Christian on Thursday night. They won the first set 25-16. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

OAK CREEK — With her team down 20-15 in the second set to Vail Christian, Soroco High School volleyball head coach Jeannie Jo Logan called a timeout. The Rams were getting in their own heads as mistakes added up. The team was up 1-0 and only down five points, but the Rams have high standards for themselves.

“That second game, they started to rattle,” Logan said. “We were down, and I called them in, and I was like, ‘Nuh-uh.’ We just talked about a couple things. We just go back to the basics.”

Going into the first league game of the season, Soroco was 4-0 and didn’t plan on losing so early in the season.

Vail Christian ended up winning the second set 25-18, but a renewed Rams team proceeded to win the next two and take the 3-1 victory at home Thursday night.

Thursday was just the second time in Logan’s coaching career that the Rams defeated the Saints. Last year, the extremely talented Soroco team still lost 3-0 to the league opponent, making the victory all the more satisfying.

“That was just real sweet,” Logan said.

In the third set, Soroco developed a small lead. In the previous two sets, they started even or behind. Playing with an advantage made all the difference. Well-placed touches from seniors Eden Mayer and Sophia Benjamin, and junior Shelby Geiger created a 10-6 lead. Vail Christian called timeout.

When the teams returned to the floor, the Saints pulled with one, 14-13. Serving from senior Irene Hoff helped Soroco jump in front again, 19-13, and eventually win 25-20.

Soroco High School junior Shelby Geiger gets a touch on the ball during a league game against Vail Christian on Thursday night. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

“We played well as a team,” Mayer said. “We overcame all the obstacles the other team threw at us. We worked together. It was pass, set, hit most of the time. Even if it wasn’t a kill, we still were able to pass, set, hit, and that’s the goal.

Soroco was aggressive at the net, often going for blocks. That left holes in the middle of the court, which Vail Christian found with tips and blocks. The Saints aimed well on offense and had 10-foot wingspans on defense. At least, it seemed that way. The back row was able to control almost every hit Soroco sent its way, resulting in long volleys. A new rotation for the Rams seemed to fix those issues in the later sets.

With confidence high and the adjustments in full effect, Soroco’s fourth set was their most dominant. The Rams won 25-16.

Geiger and Benjamin posted aces. Mayer and senior Peyton Parker’s swings sent ripples across the hardwood as the ball hit the floor.

Logan is proud of how her team was able to stay composed and let mistakes go, even if she had to remind her team to do so in the second set. The rest of the night, they kept their heads on straight.

“They’ve all been playing together for quite some time,” Logan said. “When you have a group that meshes, they mesh. They just make it fun.”

Soroco 3, Vail Christian 1

VC 16 25 20 16 – 1

S 25 18 25 25 – 3

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