Carroll College Sports Information Department
HELENA – The 23rd ranked Carroll College women’s volleyball team rolled to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-12 season-opening victory over Walla Walla University Tuesday evening at the PE Center.
The Saints controlled the match from the opening tip and racked up 37 kills as a team with a .347 hitting percentage and 11 team total blocks while holding the Wolves to a -.038 hitting percentage for the match.
“I think that we played pretty composed,” head coach Moe Boyle said. “We used a lot of combinations tonight. When there are so many new pieces, and everyone is fighting for a spot, everyone stuck together, and that was good to see.”
Holly Morehouse tallied six kills on just eight attempts with no errors, and Brielle Bumgarner scored six kills with a .308 hitting percentage and six blocks, but setter Rayna Pilgeram was huge for the Saints. She tallied three blocks, seven kills, with no attack errors and 26 assists to lead the way. Catherine Sloan tallied a team-high nine assists.
Fourteen Saints stepped on the floor for Carroll and five scored six or more points.
“Different people really stepped up,” Boyle said. “Jenna Starke did a good job in the middle and did some great things on the serve. Morgan Christy came in and owned the net. She brought a lot of energy in the third set.”
Serving was a big key for the Saints Tuesday, and Boyle hopes that the trend continues.
“Catherine Sloan and Casey Berry have been consistent with their serves,” Boyle said. “Trying to take people out of their offense and I think that we did that. Serving in volleyball is like pitching in baseball, and we are trying to get some unusual spin on the ball and make it tough for defenders.”
The Saints were glad to earn the sweep as the team will get an early morning start on the way to La Crosse, Wis., for the Viterbo Preseason Invitational.
The tournament will be one of the toughest of the season. The Saints open play Friday with No. 3 Park (Mo.) at 1 p.m. before playing No. 10 Grand View at 3:30 p.m. Carroll closes the weekend with No. 6 and tournament host Viterbo.
“I am glad to get a match under our belt before we head out to the Wisconsin,” Boyle said. “We have some very tough competition on the docket for us this weekend and today’s match will help us get into a rhythm a little faster.”