QUINCY -- One reason the Payson Seymour volleyball team is one of the best in the area, if not the state, is the various offensive weapons it has.
The first set of Wednesday night's match against Quincy Notre Dame showed how the Indians can still succeed when a couple of players are off.
The second set of the match showed how sharp the Indians can be when all the pistons are firing.
Senior middle hitter Josie Stanford had 15 kills to help Payson Seymour remain undefeated after 14 games with a 25-23, 25-20 victory over the Raiders at the Pit.
"We were solid. We played our game," Indians coach Teresa Loos-Tedrow said. "We had two big hitters who are huge deliverers who couldn't get a good ball, and despite that, we still won the first set. We were on a mission."
Outside hitters Kamryn Flesner and Riley Epperson had five hitting errors in the first set, but Stanford had eight kills to keep Payson Seymour afloat. The score was tied at 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, but Stanford had a kill to give the Indians their 23rd point, blocked the Raiders' Molly Penn for the 24th point and spiked over a double block by Penn and Erin Carey to end the set.
"Cassie (Eidson) is a smart setter, and when she sees something's working, she goes to it," Loos-Tedrow said. "(QND) really didn't have an answer."
"I always ask for the ball," Stanford said. "I just know we can count on anybody. We have each other's backs."
Raiders coach Rich Meyer thought his team did a poor job blocking Stanford.
"We were a step or two late," he said. "We knew who they were going to set the ball to, and it looked like we went out there and took a daydream about who they would set the ball to."
Stanford had a block, three kills and a service ace to help Payson Seymour take an 8-5 lead it never relinquished in the second set.
"Tonight showed we have the capability to get teams with our energy," Stanford said. "We learned that energy is important. When you're loud, you can get in other teams' heads and control the game."
Stanford had seven kills in the second set, while Epperson, Flesner and Hylee Schmiedeskamp combined for 10 kills to keep the Raiders at arm's length. The Raiders failed to score while serving in nine out of 10 rotations at one point in the match, with the Indians getting a kill each time to get a side out.
"Honestly, I'm thrilled where we're at," Loos-Tedrow said. "Nobody wants to peak in September, and the fact we have little quirky things to work on means we're still not at full speed. However, there are windows like the second set when we have beautiful magic and it all comes together. I'm OK with a little clunky with a few things right now."
Sydney Hummert and Hannah Peters had six kills apiece for the Raiders (12-4). The fact that his team was competitive with one of only three undefeated Class 1A teams in the state didn't please Meyer. He was even upset with the official scoring afterward, claiming the score should have been 23-21 in the second set instead of 25-20.
"Why can't we get adults to do the scorebook when we do for every other sport?" he said. "The passing was sloppy, and our setting wasn't good enough to offset the bad passing. The setters need to adjust to a bad pass and make a better set, but the passing wasn't as crisp as it should be. Our serve receiving was very lackadaisical. We have all the parents who rah-rah because we got the ball up, but if the pass only comes to the 10-foot line, it's a bad pass.
"When you're not producing, we might have to do some changing. We've given some kids a lot of chances, and our record is pretty good so far. Now what are we going to do to make our team better?"