Volleyball: It’s service with a smile for Ponies


OAKDALE — A nearly flawless serving performance helped spur Stillwater to a 3-0 nonconference volleyball victory over Tartan on Thursday night. The Ponies prevailed by scores of 27-25, 25-13 and 25-23 in their season opener and first match under new head coach Bob Fisher.

Stillwater missed just one serve in 75 attempts, including a 19-for-19 showing from Janae Momchilovich. Autumn Nyennhuis was perfect in six attempts in a hard-fought Game 1 victory and finished 15 for 15 with one ace in the match.

“The team served very well,” Fisher said.

Stillwater was playing from behind throughout the opening game before taking its first lead at 25-24 and eventually locking up the win. The Ponies hit their stride in the second game, which included 11 serves without a miss for Bri Momchilovich.

“The difference between Game 1 and 2 was totally related to our passing,” Fisher said. “We passed at a very high level in Game 2 and 25-13 was a reflection of much better ball control.”

The Ponies survived the opening night jitters while facing a Tartan with a match already in the books.

“Our left sides Savannah (Sprenger) and Autumn played a really solid, steady match,” Fisher said. “They passed well and they hit well. Our setters connected well for our first match and I would say both Stephanies (Dietrich and Houle) had good nights in the middle. Our blocking consistently improved as the night went on and I thought the setters did a nice job of moving the ball around and getting all the hitters involved.”

Stillwater ramps up its competition next week with nonconference matches against highly regarded Eagan on Tuesday and Southwest Christian on Thursday.