Warriors swept by 12th-ranked Wolves
WINFIELD — The WACO volleyball team got closer in every set, but the Warriors couldn’t quite get a win against rival Winfield-Mt. Union on Thursday.
The Wolves swept WACO in the match, winning by scores of 25-9, 25-20 and 25-23.
For its part, the WACO volleyball team is playing some close games against some very good teams.
The Warriors took both No. 3 New London and No. 12 W-MU to a tiebreaker set in the New London Tournament Saturday, and they had a strong showing against Mediapolis, which was ranked in Class 3A, earlier this week.
In the end, however, they dropped those two tournament matches, they were swept by the Bullettes and they were swept by the Wolves.
“I think we’re representing ourselves well, but doggone — we want to win those matches,” WACO Coach Jay Coble said.
After losing the first game to WACO last weekend, the Wolves knew that the Warriors would bring a good game on Thursday, and they came out ready for it.
“We’ve been a slow starting team, so we’ve been trying to get off to fast starts — I thought we did a good job, especially in the first game,” W-MU Coach Dave Pieart said.
With Brooke Jennings’ serve keeping WACO off-balance, the Wolves took a 6-0 lead early in the first set.
W-MU stretched its lead to 18-9 before going on a 7-0 run to end the game.
“I wasn’t too much worried about the very first game,” Coble said. “I didn’t want to blow everything up in the first game, so that’s why I didn’t call a bunch of timeouts. We were too amped up. But we played very well in the next two games.”
The Warriors took a lead in game two and stayed a step ahead of the Wolves until a 15-15 tie.
An Erica Robison ace gave W-MU the edge, and from there, the Wolves held off the visitors for a 25-20 win.
“We can get to 20, but we don’t have anybody to close for us,” Coble said. “We had every opportunity to close.”
It was the same story in the third set.
WACO took a 7-5 lead and held on to the advantage until W-MU caught up about 10 points later.
Aces by Bailey Graber and Rosemary Skriver helped keep WACO in the game as W-MU took a lead.
With the score tied at 17, the Wolves clawed their way to game point with WACO right behind them, 24-22.
The Warriors stayed alive for one more point, but the Wolves were able to end it on a Shelby Therme kill, 25-23.
“They made a couple really good digs on that last point,” Coble said.
Therme led the team in kills with 14 on the night. Erica Robison had 10.
Brooke Jennings had 15 assists and Taylor Rodgers added seven.
Jennings was a perfect 25-25 serving with four aces. Robison went 8-for-10 with two aces. Layne Davis had one ace on 11-for-11 serving and Sam Jamison also served an ace. Jamison went 4-for-5 serving on the night.
Therme had a team-high 13 digs and Darby Harris had seven. Robison, Jamison and Jennings had four digs apiece.
Therme put up three blocks; Robison had two and Nicole Escher had one block.
“We played them (WACO) Saturday and they controlled the net on us,” Pieart said. “I thought we did a good job tonight at the net — we got touches on blocks, and did a good job covering blocks. They’re a taller team than we are, so it was nice to do that.”
It’s even nicer to do it against a big rival.
“It is a rivalry game, and they’re an improved team from last year, definitely,” Pieart said. “They’re an improved team from earlier in the season.”
Skriver led WACO with eight kills on the night and Aaliyah Brown added five. Erika Leichty contributed four kills.
Ashlyn Hammen had 18 assists.
Leichty had a team-high 22 digs and Skriver added 15. Hammen had 14 digs.
Kalicia Miller put up four blocks and Leichty had three.
Leah McElhinney served two aces for the Warriors.
The Warriors are now 12-15 on the season and 2-6 in the conference.
They play at the Davis County Tournament on Saturday, where their pool includes Harmony, Van Buren and Centerville.
W-MU is 22-10 overall and 6-2 in the SEISC North.
They travel to Wapello on Tuesday.