Julia Zalmanek leads Cadets past Warriors in 4 sets
BEVERLY –Julia Zalmanek was a zapper at the net.
The 5-foot-8 sophomore hitter had a varsity career-high 20 kills and seven blocks as Fort Frye downed Warren, 3-1, Wednesday night in prep volleyball action at Cadet Gym.
“Julia’s really putting the ball down good for us,” said first-year FFHS head coach Emily Ohrn, whose Cadets (6-3) won 25-21, 25-22, 13-25, and 25-23.
Good thing Zalmanek stepped up, because senior Maddie Webb, Fort’s big hitter, “has been hurt,” Ohrn said.
“She sprained her ankle last week,” the Cadet boss continued. “So, she didn’t play on Saturday. And she really did practice this week until yesterday (Tuesday). So, we were kind of feeling it out today. We’re glad to have her back.”
The 5-8 Webb finished with 11 kills, two blocks, five aces, and five digs. Junior Cara McIntosh added 10 kills, while junior Jayden Wallace and senior setter Steph Camden had five and four, respectively.
The 5-6 Camden had a match-high 42 assists and also added seven digs.
“She always does good,” Ohrn said. “She’s always running all over the place, putting the ball where we need it, and mixing it up. And, she’s always serving good. I can always count on her serve to get over.”
Defensively, junior libero Lexie Huck 17 passses, five digs, and two aces. Wallace chipped in with 15 passes.
“Lexie’s really stepped up, hustling after the ball,” Ohrn said.
Warren was led by senior hitter Abby Gilliand, who had a double-double with 27 digs and 13 blocks to go along with seven kills and one assist.
“Abby was killing it,” said Warren head coach Michelle Tyo, whose Warriors fell to 4-7. “She played really well. She’s always one of my most reliable players.”
Senior Madison Foy added five kills, 26 digs and five blocks while junior Autumn Miller had three kills and seven blocks and Caspen Ford five kills, nine digs, four acess and three blocks.
“Autumn was getting a lot of blocks for us,” Tyo said. “My hitters were really reliable tonight.”
Warren junior setter Haylee Morgan finished with 19 assists and 12 digs; senior libero Jacey Barnes and senior Myah Husted each had 12 digs.
The first two sets of the match went back and forth with Fort prevailing in both at the end. Camden’s block closed out the opener, and Zalmanek capped the second with a kill.
With the score 6-all in the third set, Warren, sparked by Gilliand, made its move, dominated, and won by double digits.
“Ah, we can’t win ’em all, right,” Ohrn said. “I knew Warren was going to be good based off their previous games.
“So, we just have to work out a few kinks here and there.”
In the fourth set, it went down to the wire and with the score knotted at 23-all and Wallace serving, Zalmenek had a kill and then a Warren hitter hit the ceiling and it landed on the Cadet side for the game- and match-winning point.
“It was just one of those things where we couldn’t do enough to finish that set,” Tyo said. “But we battled hard on the floor in every set, and I’m so proud of my girls.”
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com