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Balers log 14 aces in win

Volleyball team takes 11-1 record into weekend tourney
The mark of a great team is how it performs against teams of
lesser caliber. The great ones dominate.
Volleyball team takes 11-1 record into weekend tourney

The mark of a great team is how it performs against teams of lesser caliber. The great ones dominate.

Tuesday night, the San Benito Haybalers overpowered the Monte Vista Christian Mustangs in three games 15-1, 15-3 and 15-2 at Mattson Gymnasium.

The Haybalers women’s volleyball team dished out 14 aces with middle blocker Kaylie Kortsen, setter Jenni Denton and outside hitter Jacky Denton leading the way with six apiece. Jenni Denton added 19 assists and outside hitter Kim Dabo had a game-high eight kills.

“We had to approach it the way we did. We can’t play down to their level. We have to force them to play up to ours,” said Haybalers Coach Larry Nabzeska, whose team improved to 11-1 overall. “By only allowing them to score a certain amount of points helps show that we are a strong team.”

Friday the Haybalers, currently ranked 8th in the state and 47th in the nation, travel to Mitty High School to participate in the Mitty Tournament.

“It is the biggest tournament in Northern California,” said Nabzeska. “We have to play extremely well. There are 16 teams in the tournament and at least seven are ranked in the top 50 in the nation.”

Aside from, Mitty the Haybalers, ranked ninth in the tournament, may have to play the likes of St. Francis, Presentation or Liberty, out of Bakersfield.

St. Francis is the No. 1 team in California while Mitty, the defending Central Coast Section champs, is ranked third in the state. The Haybalers first game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

“I think we should be ranked fifth,” said Nabzeska, who added that his players relish the underdog role. “We’ve always been counted out, up until recently. We just want to prepare ourselves well.”

San Benito used the Mustangs for a little service and volley practice on Tuesday before the real test tomorrow.

From the opening point of the first game, a resounding kill by Kortsen, the Mustangs were toast.

In each of the three games, the Haybalers gave the home crowd a taste of what it will bring once the level of competition rises. In game one, the Haybalers showed they have mastered the jump serve. The team recorded seven aces in the first game, with many of them bouncing just inbound as the Mustangs bench yelled ‘Out!’

“We were swarmed,” said MVC Coach Drew Norton, whose team hosts the North

Salinas Vikings tonight at 7 p.m. “They are one of the top teams not only in the area but in the state and it shows.”

The Balers allowed only one point in the first game before reeling off 10-straight points to close it out.

In the second game, the Haybalers went to the bench as reserves Jamie Hall, Lindsey Brandon and Amy Baxter all made significant contributions. Hall recorded a kill while Brandon and Baxter played sound back-line defense.

“Everyone has to be ready to be called on to play,” said Nabzeska.

In the final game, San Benito showed its ability to close inferior competition. After allowing a MVC point to fall in, the Haybalers pounded out 14 unanswered points. The MVC record now stands at 2-7.