It was like facing the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup. Everybody hits.
Butte Central put on a power display Thursday night while beating Livingston with triplicate 25-17 scores in a non-conference Class A high school volleyball sweep at the Maroon Activities Center.
The Maroons belted 38 kills and fired eight ace serves in gaining their third straight victory this season against no losses. Emily St. John set all 32 assists dealing up shots for her big-hitting BC teammates, including Corbyn Holm, who hammered nine kills; Teresa Piazzola and Ryan Trudnowski, each of whom smacked eight kills; and Sierra Pica, who pounded seven.
Piazzola also planted five aces on the Livingston side of the net.
“I loved what I saw,” Butte Central head coach Becky Hancock said. “We came out strong and with a lot of excitement. This is homecoming week and we took that excitement to the court.
“(Libero) Mollie Peoples was great on serve-receive and back there serving. Our front row was on and Emily does great at distributing the ball. Emily was able to set a lot of things tonight because of our great serve-receives (and the accurate passes to the setter).”
Peoples led the floor defense with 18 digs. Trudnowski posted three blocks.
“We struggled in the second game with our serve,” Hancock said. “We suffered some little letdowns here and there, but we got back into it every time. It’s exciting to have a front row where everybody contributes and the setter makes sets.
“Our defense was a little weak, but it will come around. We need to get our block going, too, and get ahead of the game.”
Butte Central was methodical in the first game. The Maroons didn’t string any big serving runs, but outscored Livingston 2-1 and 3-1 on side-outs to steadily build their lead. They were never behind and the last tie was 3-all after a shot by the Rangers’ Kinsey Whiting. A Livingston shot rolled up in the net to give BC the one-point edge. Two Rangers’ hitting errors followed and Butte Central was ahead for good. Piazzola plastered two straight aces to continue the Butte Central hot hitting. The Maroons kept the momentum and reached game point at 24-15 as Livingston mishandled a Pica blast. Three serves later, Pica drilled a kill off Ranger hands for the set win.
The second game was tougher for BC. The Rangers took a lead, 2-1, on a Butte Central shot that cleared the end line. The Maroons answered with a score-tying ace by Piazzola and the two teams matched points for 11 consecutive side-outs. BC gained a 10-8 advantage on a serve too long by Livingston. Butte Central didn’t give up any margin and added to its lead bit by bit. Peoples served a six-point run to reach game point at 24-15, scored on an ace. Piazzola and Trudnowski each had a kill and a block in the run. The Maroons needed to work through two more serves and a side-out before the game ended with a Trudnowski walloping a spike the Livingston defenders couldn’t handle.
Important serving runs by Taylor Wahl, Holm and Peoples helped stake BC to an early command in the third game. Lacey McGree put together a personal streak during Holm’s run with two kills and tough defense at the net.
The Rangers tried to hang with the home team, but Butte Central was able to outdistance. Piazzola notched matched point on a kill for 24-16 and then, after a side-out, buried another kill for the win.
Livingston leaders included Holly Davis with 10 kills, Whiting with 14 assists, and Lindsay Lane with 14 digs and two aces. The loss put the Rangers at 1-3 for the year.
“Anytime you can beat a good team like Park (Livingston), you take it and roll with it,” Hancock said. “Saturday, we play Hamilton, which is another tough team.”
The match with Hamilton is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the MAC.
Butte Central def. Livingston 25-17, 25-17, 25-17.
KILLS — Livingston 19 (Holly Davis 10, Sierra Higgs 5), Butte Central 38 (Corbyn Holm 9, Teresa Piazzola 8, Ryan Trudnowski 8, Sierra Pica 7, Lacey McGree 5, Emily St. John 1). ASSISTS — Livingston 14 (Kinsey Whiting 14), Butte Central 32 (St. John 32). ACES — Livingston 4 (Lindsay Lane 2, Aleah Peterson 1), Butte Central 8 (Piazzola 5, Taylor Wahl 2, Mollie Peoples 1). DIGS — Livingston 52 (Lane 14, Higgs 11), Butte Central 46 (Peoples 18, Piazzola 7, Taylor Wahl 7, St. John 4, Holm 4, Shawnee Hjelt 2, McKenzie Gallagher 2, Pica 1, L. McGree 1). BLOCKS — Livingston 4 (Lauren Emter 1, Whiting 1, Higgs 1, Davis 1), Butte Central 5 (Trudnowski 3, Piazzola 1, Pica 1).