Kortsen’s kills power Balers

SBHS wins league opener over Live Oak
Even with one of its primary hitters in street clothes with an
ice pack resting on her ankle, it was business as usual for the San
Benito Haybalers women’s volleyball team.
Tuesday night at Mattson Gymnasium in Hollister, the Haybalers
swept the feisty Live Oak Acorns 10-15, 13-15, 11-15 as middle
blocker Kaylie Kortsen registered a game-high 25 kills in the TCAL
league opener.
SBHS wins league opener over Live Oak

Even with one of its primary hitters in street clothes with an ice pack resting on her ankle, it was business as usual for the San Benito Haybalers women’s volleyball team.

Tuesday night at Mattson Gymnasium in Hollister, the Haybalers swept the feisty Live Oak Acorns 10-15, 13-15, 11-15 as middle blocker Kaylie Kortsen registered a game-high 25 kills in the TCAL league opener.

San Benito improved to 14-3 overall and 1-0 in the TCAL while the Acorns fell to 16-3 overall 0-1 in league. Tonight the Acorns host the North Salinas

Vikings while the Haybalers travel to Gilroy to take on the Mustangs, also 1-0 in league play. Both games are set to start at 7 p.m.

The Haybalers will have to go against the Mustangs without Jacky Denton, who suffered a twisted ankle during practice Monday night. Denton’s injury will keep her shelved for another seven to 10 days.

In Tuesday’s win, Kortsen put setter Jenni Denton’s 35 assists to good use. Kortsen sprayed kills each time the Acorns caught fire.

In the first game the Acorns, behind the aggressive play of outside hitter

Kristina Conrad and setter Chelsea Carroll, took a 10-9 lead and seemed to have the Haybalers on the ropes. But the Haybalers rang up six consecutive points, highlighted by some vicious swats by Kortsen.

The Acorns returned an Alyssa Fowles serve to the back row, where it was promptly passed to setter Jenni Denton. Denton touch passed a few inches over the net just as Kortsen came soaring in. In one fluid motion, Kortsen smashed the ball through the fingers of the Acorns middle blocker and just inside the inbound line. Score tied 10-10.

Following two more service points by Fowles and a timeout by the Acorns to stop the bleeding, Kortsen emphatically blocked a Conrad kill attempt for an

11-13lead. San Benito closed out the game with another resounding kill, this one coming from outside hitter Kim Dabo, who finished with 12.

But the Acorns would not quit.

In game two, the Acorns overcame an early three-point deficit and took a slim 9-8 down the stretch. The two teams traded points and were locked in at 11-11 when Kortsen strutted her stuff.

She scored the Haybalers next three points on ball-flattening kills before

Dabo finished the Acorns off.

The Haybalers wrapped up game three after it fell behind 10-7 and, again, Kortsen stopped the Acorns’ momentum with a kill to record the side out, then scored a point on the next Haybalers serve.

“You can never replace a Jacky Denton in the lineup,” said Haybalers Coach

Larry Nabzeska. “Kaylie took up the slack and did the job for us. Kaylie just came through and took up the slack.”

Conrad finished with 14 kills and Carroll had 35 assists.

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