FULTON, Ill. — The Fulton Steamers began their homecoming week with a bang, dominating the visiting Riverdale Rams in two straight matches on the volleyball court Tuesday, winning 25-14 and 25-21.
A very focused and determined Steamers team exacted a bit of payback on the Rams, who had beaten them earlier in the season, by executing well and taking advantage of Riverdale’s mistakes.
“The last time we played Riverdale it was probably one of our weakest nights that we’ve played, a low point in our season,” Fulton coach Stacy Germann said about the Steamers earlier effort against Riverdale.
“The last time we played, we didn’t play the best we could, so tonight we really wanted to come out and show what we were made of,” Fulton sophomore Betsy Leonard said.
Fulton definitely showed the Rams what they were made of, holding the lead the entire night and running away with the first set.
“We held it together and we actually got a lead. Normally we don’t start off with the lead, so it definitely helped us tonight,” Fulton senior Rachael Beiermann said. “You feel dominating, and then it gets them kind of down and they don’t come back. It helps.”
They badly exploited the Rams inability to successfully execute serve-receive. That led to a lot of three-hits-and-over for the Rams and then a lot of pass-set-kill for the Steamers.
“They (Rams) couldn’t get that serve-receive pass, and then they couldn’t get that up to their hitter,” Germann said. “They had no choice but to free-ball it over to us. Tonight, a free ball for us was just beautiful; it was a kill for us every time.”
The execution by the Steamers at the net, mixed with their consistent serving, made it hard for Riverdale to keep up in the match, but the Steamers defense wasn’t always in position early on. It made adjustments as the night progressed.