Beloit Memorial girls volleyball head coach Kim Gamble said that the important factor that senior outside hitter Maison Hosey brings to the floor is her presence.
Janesville Parker certainly felt Hosey’s presence Thursday night at Barkin Arena as she delivered several crucial kills and was tied for the team lead in aces with three as the Purple Knights took down the Vikings 3-1.
“She has this energy that’s really key to our team,” Gamble said. “She brings cohesiveness to our team which is really important for a long game. She’s pretty strong and she is always aggressive.”
“I just love the energy here,” Hosey said. “Everytime anyone gets a good play, it gets my energy up too. My teammates just motivate me so much, and I really love this team.”
Beloit looked dominant in the early part of the match as they had a controlling 25-13 win in the first set before jumping out to an 8-2 lead in the second.
Gamble said that having a hot start is important.
“It’s huge to give us some confidence moving forward,” she said. “When you have a rough start, it constantly feels like you’re playing catch up. It’s crucial to us and our confidence.”
Parker made a furious comeback to tie it at eight, and the two teams kept it close for a bit before the Vikings went on a solid run to win 25-18.
Beloit responded nicely, jumping out to a 17-9 lead in the third set before ultimately winning it 25-16.
The Knights and Parker were neck-and-neck for much of the fourth set, before the late winning run from Beloit.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Gamble said. “They could have easily folded in that fourth set, but they stepped up and made an aggressive push. It was a really good team effort.”
Junior middle blocker Anna James led the team with nine kills, and she had several blocks as she has continued to be a solid occupant near the net this season.
“You can’t utilize your middles if you’re not passing and setting,” Gamble said. “It’s good for us to be able to give her those attempts, and she capitalizes. She’s constantly finding that gap around the block.”
“Last year, her teammates voted her best defensive player,” Gamble said. “Her passing and her digging is one of the best parts of her game. She also went on a big serving run for us early on.”
Thursday’s victory was the first conference victory of the season for the Knights, who are playing their last season in the Big Eight.
“The first win helps build a lot of confidence,” Gamble said. “We’re going into a tournament this weekend, and I hope we can have a lot of success. We’re going to keep pushing forward.”