Volleyball: Ponies sweep past Royals


OAK PARK HEIGHTS — On the heels of a disappointing performance earlier this week, the Stillwate volleyball team bounced back with an impressive 3-0 Suburban East Conference victory over Woodbury on Thursday at Stillwater Area High School.

The Ponies swept the Royals by scores of 25-10, 25-15 and 25-16.

“They’re still kind of scratching the surface a little bit, but they showed some resilience in coming back and playing Woodbury tough,” Ponies coach Bob Fisher said. “They bounced back well and the nice thing about this group is they’re not content and are still looking for their best game. They’re not content, and I think as a coaching staff we join them in that same way of thinking.”

Game 1 was close early on with the Ponies holding an 8-7 edge before scoring 17 of the next 20 points. Strong serving by Susan Evans and Autumn Nyenhuis helped the Ponies turn quickly turn a one-point margin into a 20-8 lead. Nyenhuis and Amelia Nora also each delivered five kills in in that opening game.

Stillwater did to Woodbury what Roseville did in handing the Ponies (5-1 SEC, 9-5) their first conference loss of the season. It was also Stillwater’s first setback against a non-ranked opponent.

“It was an improvement,” Fisher said of Thursday’s showing.

The Ponies missed just one serve in 72 attempts against Woodbury and finished with six aces.

Nora led a balanced attack with 10 kills and Nyenhuis chipped in with eight kills. Evans totaled 18 set assists and Janae Momchilovich finished with 11.

Stillwater was also strong in the middle with Stephanie Houle and Stephanie Dietrich each racking up two solo blocks and finishing with three block assists.

“I thought we played strong at the net,” Fisher said. “Our passing overall improved and we stepped up and competed better defensively. Our serve receive was better with our three sophomores Rachel Fick, Olivia Welsch and Bri Momchilovich.

“We had good crowd support and it was youth night so we had some of the young kids up there. That was fun,” Fisher added.