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Lady Red Devils take first in district

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 By Bryan Hoopaugh

bhoopaugh@willistonpioneer.com

Last week the Lady Red Devils went on a scoring rampage winning 17 straight games in six matches and combined with a Newberry loss to Union County ranks Williston tied for first in the district with rival Newberry.

The Lady Red Devils began their winning streak in Union County taking the Lady Tigers in three straight games and continued their success in Bronson and then took it home defeating Chiefland in another dominant three game performance.

Sept. 13 and  Sept. 14 Williston traveled to Bell to compete in the Bell Tounament and again swept every opponent they faced in convincing fashion as only one game in all three matches took the Red Devils 26 points to seal a victory over Bronson 26-24.

Serving has been a major factor in the success of the Lady Devils as they have a goal of 90 percent or higher in putting serves into play. 

“Serving into the net or out of bounds just gives points away,” said Head Coach Kim Nivala. This hard work has paid off very well for Williston thus far with over half the team recording six or more points straight when they step onto the back court to serve.”

Another factor in Williston’s success has been the ability to stay in the game mentally and not let a few bad series or plays break the winning spirit. The team just seems to take a time out and with some advice from Coach Nivala and a 1-2-3 pick it up chant they turn the momentum their way.

The Lady Devils will have their hands full to stay in first as the next two teams they will face are Lafayette (Mayo) and Newberry. Lafayette will be their first opponent on Sept. 19. 

Lafayette has been the Rural 1A state champions two years in a row and won 43 straight matches, all in sweep fashion, not even losing one game in any of their matches until a loss early this season against Newberry.

Newberry is currently tied for first with Williston in the district. These next two games will be the threshold for the Lady Devils to secure first place in the district and a victory over both schools will be a great boost for the girls’ goal of being district champions.

The most notable performance in the Bell tournament was that of senior Morgan Vanasco who has a powerful kill shot she can make from the net, at center or back court. Vanasco recorded 27 kills in the three match two day tournament.

Both matches on Sept. 19 and Sept. 24 will be held at the Williston High School Gym and are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. with the JV games beginning at 5 p.m.