The Nokomis High School volleyball team was young, snake bit by injuries and inexperienced last season, but 505 days after their last game, the 2021 edition of the Lady Redskins are starting the season on the right foot.
Playing on the road against East Alton-Wood River, the Lady Redskins dropped the opening game 25-23, but rebounded to down the Oilers 25-19 and 25-20 in the next two games.
Five seniors, Delaney Keiser, Mia Fesser, Kristen Stauder, Olivia Taylor and Alex Pavolka, dot the Nokomis roster this year ( along with two juniors, four sophomores and a freshman) and the graduates-to-be played a big role in the win.
Delaney Keiser, one of the standouts on last year’s squad (along with last year’s seniors Jade Jett, Ellee Waterman, Sophia Keller and Macee Eisenbarth), posted a team-best 10 digs, a statistical category she led Nokomis in last year.
She also had a team-high 14 service points (she was second in points in 2019-20).
Mia Fesser added in five points, six digs and six assists, after being second in assists last year, while Olivia Taylor contributed three kills to the attack.
Kristen Stauder missed most of last season due to injury, but came back strong following a successful year on the basketball court that ended just three days before Nokomis’ opening volleyball game.
Stauder joined Keiser in double digits with ten service points and contributed a team-leading three aces. She also led the team in kills, with five, and picked up eight digs on the defensive end.
Alex Pavolka rounded out the senior class and had five service points, giving the class of 2021 34 points in the game.
In addition to the seniors, junior Presley Lamb contributed both on the attack, where she had a team-best seven assists, and on the defensive end, digging up nine hits.
Sophomore Audrey Sabol also posed a double threat, blocking two hits and putting down four kills, while junior Skylar Stewart added a pair of blocks as well.
The win gives Nokomis a third of the victories they notched last season, with 18 more chances to add to that total before the season ends on April 17.
The first of those opportunities comes tonight, March 18, when the Lady Redskins hit the road again to take on Metro-East Lutheran.
March 16 at Wood River
Nokomis 23 25 25
EAWR 25 19 20
Service Points: Delaney Keiser 14, Kristen Stauder 10, Mia Fesser 5, Alex Pavolka 5. Aces: Kristen Stauder 3. Digs: Delaney Keiser 10, Presley Lamb 9, Kristen Stauder 8, Mia Fesser 6. Blocks: Audrey Sabol 2, Skylar Stewart 2, Mia Fesser 2. Kills: Kristen Stauder 5, Audrey Sabol 4, Olivia Taylor 3. Assists: Presley Lamb 7, Mia Fesser 6.
Record: Nokomis (1-0).