MORRISON, Ill. — Fulton has been working on its serving to strengthen another weapon in its formidable arsenal on the volleyball court. It is time well spent, if Tuesday’s match against Morrison was any indication.

The Steamers came up with a couple of timely aces, and even when they weren’t scoring directly off the serve, their placement was good enough to keep Morrison from getting into its offense easily. The result was a 25-20, 25-19 win that kept Fulton undefeated on the season.

“When you’re serving, you just have to worry about getting it where they can’t get good passes,” Fulton junior setter Lydia Schaver said. “It messes them up so they get all flustered.”

Schaver came up big at the service line in the first game. With the Steamers leading 11-10, she scored back-to-back aces, serving the ball low to the back-row players. She served two more points to increase the lead to 15-10, and Morrison never got closer than three points after that.

“We’ve been working on top spins and floaters,” she said, “and I’ve been working on top spin and it’s working. It makes a difference because they’re ready for it to come right at them, but the top spin goes down and then they’re not ready for it. That helps us get a free ball, run a play and hopefully get a kill.”

The Steamers struck at opportune times with their serving Tuesday.

Later, an ace by Allison DeWeerdt gave the Steamers (4-0, 3-0 Three Rivers Conference) their largest lead of the game, 21-14, and they closed it out shortly thereafter.

Morrison, which lost Chelsea King to a left ankle injury early in the match, held close with Fulton again for much of the second game. The Fillies even led 13-12 before the Steamers started to pull away. Again, the serve played a key role. Senior libero Kim Rogis nailed a jump serve for an ace to give Fulton a 14-13 edge. When Morrison couldn’t get the ball set up for its offense on her next serve, the Steamers led 15-13.

Morrison rallied to pull even at 15-15, but a violation at the net put Fulton on top to stay, and Allison DeWeerdt served three points in a row for a lead it never lost. A kill by Amber Grant off an assist from Schaver finished off the win.

“We’re more mature now,” DeWeerdt said, comparing this year’s squad with the 2008 team and why it was able to pull away Tuesday. “We aren’t getting as fazed by messing up. We don’t put our heads down so much. We really work in practice on when we get in bad situations coming back. Like deficit points, and that’s helping us not lose our momentum when we lose a point now.”

The Steamers continue a busy week Thursday, traveling to Riverdale to face one of the teams they hope to battle for the Three Rivers title. They follow that by playing Friday and Saturday in a tournament at Mount Pulaski.

“I believe our toughest competition in the Three Rivers will be Riverdale because we went three games with them in Westwood over the summer, and they were tough games,” DeWeerdt said. “But we’re excited to play them Thursday.”

FULTON 25-25, MORRISON 20-19

Statistical leaders

Kills — Fulton (Lindsey Renkes 7, Liz Sanquist 7, Amber Grant 4); Morrison (Danielle Stralow 6, Erin Carney 3). Assists — Fulton (Lydia Schaver 8. Allison DeWeerdt 7); Morrison (Shelby McBride 7). Ace serves — Fulton (Kim Rogis 2, Lydia Schaver 2); Morrison (Paula Bush 1). Blocks — Fulton (Renkes 2, Sanquist 1, Paige Sanquist 1); Morrison (Carney 1); Digs — Fulton (Rogis 9, Kari Kuehl 8).

Sophomores — Fulton won 25-21, 25-18.

Freshmen — Fulton won 25-13,25-22.

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