KANKAKEE, Ill. – The Mineral Area volleyball team repeated as champions of the season-opening Kankakee Invitational on Saturday following four straight-set victories.
Action began on Friday with a dominant 25-9, 25-16, 25-9 result against Moraine Valley as freshman Melissa Avendano paced a balanced attack with nine kills.
Pam Zuluaga made 32 assists and libero Shelby Meyer matched Jane Kickham with 13 digs apiece for the Lady Cardinals. Ainslee Finch served two aces.
Raylyn Dodd debuted with eight kills. Returning outside hitters Emily Eaton and Kickham added seven and six kills, respectively.
Anica Popadic compiled nine kills, four solo blocks and seven shared blocks during a big performance at the net, and Mineral Area served 12 aces in a 25-16, 25-14, 25-12 win over Kankakee.
Kickham smashed a team-high 11 kills, and Meyer totaled 18 digs with four aces. Zuluaga had 29 assists, 14 digs and three aces.
Eaton collected seven kills and Dodd chipped in six while both players provided three solo blocks. Finch served three more aces.
Kickham continued a superb weekend during the third contest with 12 kills and 16 digs as MAC topped Lake Land 25-16, 25-13, 25-12 on Saturday morning.
Dodd shined from the middle with 10 kills which equaling Popadic with four solo blocks, and Avendano knocked down nine kills for the Lady Cards.
Zuluaga netted 34 assists plus nine digs and three blocks. Meyer supplied 18 digs and Popadic added five kills.
Mineral Area (4-0) finished off the road trip with 25-18, 25-14, 25-16 victory against McHenry County. Kickham tallied eight kills, seven digs, three blocks and two aces.
Avendano registered six kills while Eaton and Popadic had five each. Zuluaga dished out 23 assists and added seven digs with three aces.
Meyer brought up 11 digs and Dodd led MAC with four blocks.
Sophomore standout Cailey Bracken limited her attacks due to an ailing shoulder. She notched 11 digs during the match against Kankakee.
The Lady Cardinals will play their home opener Tuesday against the McKendree junior varsity.