***image2***The Ramstein American High School volleyball team was in high-spirits during their homecoming Saturday after beating their local rival, Kaiserslautern and their toughest competitor in the conference, Heidelberg.
After losing in last year’s Division 1 European Championship to Heidelberg, and again in the opening season jamboree, the Royals were determined to end their losing streak against their archrival. They succeeded and defeated the Lions in four games, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16 and 25-15.
“We worked really hard at passing this week so our offense was able to do the job,” said Ramstein Head Coach Shanon Bryant whose team won the conference at 6-0. “We’re an all around strong team. We don’t rely on just one powerhouse. I have five hitters who equally contribute to the offense.”
Ramstein hitters racked up 30 kills while setter Jayci Cachuela had 29 set assists. Blocking was also a big part of the offense; middle hitters Kaylen Bannister and Jessica Arnett had 13 blocks, and outside hitter Heather Steele had 14 digs.
Heidelberg’s best player, outside hitter Natasha Holan had 17 kills, two blocks and three aces.
***image1***“We just let our emotions get a hold of us,” said Heidelberg Head Coach Richard Bennett. “We weren’t serving like we usually do. And if your passing is off you won’t get a win. Ramstein had consistent serves and digging.”
Sophomore Regina Fleming contributed to the victory with eight serving aces and seven kills. As a former member of the Heidelberg team she was looking forward to the rematch against her old team.
“At first I was really nervous to play,” said the outside hitter. “But it felt good to beat them.”
In another match, 25-16, 25-16 and 25-17, Ramstein defeated Kaiserslautern, a scrappy team of newcomers that could return almost any hit.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said the Raiders’ Head Coach Stan Kyle whose team held Ramstein to just 19 kills. “We support those teams that are a part of our community but at the same time we want to play our best – and we didn’t.”
All three teams will rematch in the first round of Europeans Thursday at Sembach Annex.