Gremlins volleyball refused to open its season with a cakewalk.
Sacred Heart’s defense, fighting first-game nerves and a competitive Father Tolton, stepped up Tuesday in a 26-24, 24-26, 25-16 victory over the Trail Blazers at Sacred Heart High School in Sedalia.
Head coach David Fall said he was pleasantly surprised with the defensive performance.
“There were times we played better defense than what we’ve been showing,” Fall said. “In practice, I would not have guess we were going to play that good of defense. But it’s just a start.”
Sacred Heart climbed to a 14-11 lead in the first set before Father Tolton tied the game at 17. Michaela Wright, who had eight kills on the match, scored an ace to give the Trail Blazers its first lead since 1-0.
Wright, listed at 6-foot-5, was a fixture up front. Fall said the Sacred Heart hitters did well avoiding her.
“They did a good job finding (Wright) and hit around her,” Fall said.
Hannah Wilhoit seven kills for the Gremlins.
Two aces from Sam Tackitt gave the Trail Blazers a 23-22 lead in the second set. Wright scored on a spike to win the set.
After a back-and-fourth third set, Sacred Heart went on a 6-2 run to lead 20-12.
The Gremlins (1-0) travel to Crest Ridge 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2