West Holmes Volleyball

Lady Knights come up big at the right time in topping Mt. Vernon

Nadia Rouse getting low to make a dig attempt

If West Holmes volleyball coach Savannah Moore wanted to get a gauge on where her team is headed, she got it on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at West Holmes High School, where the Lady Knights hosted Mt. Vernon.

Facing a team that had defeated them in five games earlier this year, the Lady Knights turned the tables and beat the Yellow Jackets 25-21, 28-26, 25-22 in a tight three-game battle.

“When we went to their place, we came out super flat the first two games and got in a hole, so I felt confident coming into this one that we could turn it around because we are getting better,” Moore said. “I knew we had the ability to beat them. It was just a matter of overcoming some mental battles, knowing we had lost to them earlier.”

One big factor in the game was the play of freshman Megan Jones, just called up recently from the junior varsity. Jones is a big presence on the front line, and Moore felt her blocking ability was something the Lady Knights needed desperately.

Jones didn’t disappoint in this one, adding the blocking presence her coach was seeking.

“About seven or eight games into the season, I was desperate for a right-side blocker, and Megan had really been impressive in the JV games,” Moore said. “A couple games ago I brought Megan up and told her that her only job was to block balls. She was good with that, and ever since she has been earning more and more playing time.”

The big factor was once again senior Lauren Park. When it needed a score at each crucial turn, the Lady Knights sent sets Park’s way, and the senior delivered, pounding out 25 kills in three games, several of them from the back row.

A fearsome ball striker, Park is well known for her killing instincts, but she is not a one-trick pony. Park can play the back row extremely well too and displayed that skill with 11 digs.

After a spirited game, one that saw the two teams battle back and forth before West Holmes eked out a 25-21 win, the Yellow Jackets took control in game two, spurting out to a seemingly safe 18-6 advantage. However, West Holmes would not give in and clawed its way back into the match one point at a time until the two teams were locked up at 23.

After taking the lead 26-25, West Holmes gave up a point but again turned to Park to close the deal, which she did in the 28-26 win.

“That was big for us to rally like that, but we have had a habit of putting ourselves in a hole early, and we have to overcome that,” Moore said.

Game three was another nail-biter, and West Holmes eventually pulled out to a 19-15 lead, only to see Mt. Vernon come storming back to tie it at 20-20.

However, as it had done in the two previous games, the Lady Knights turned the tables and pulled out a close game-three win, and it came with a quite unique play that saw Sarah Anderson provide a perfect set for Park from the seat of her pants.

“That was actually much needed,” Moore said. “We were struggling at that moment, and I thought that was some good comic relief that helped us to relax and refocus. Sarah actually did a good job of running our offense today.”

Sarah Anderson ended the day with a solid 30 assists, adding 11 digs. Emily Anderson added 17 digs, Cameron Yeager added seven digs and Nadia Rouse recorded 13 service points including four aces and added four digs.

Moore said that while the victory was nice and the improvement from the first game versus Mt. Vernon was good to see, she noted that her team is still lacking that consistency it needs to be at its best.

“We just have a lack of energy at times. That keeps us from being as good as we can be,” Moore said. “We keep improving, but we need to find that consistency and leadership on the floor that can take us to the next level. We need someone to light our fire and keep us focused for the whole match. We saw some of that in the second match, where we came storming back from a huge deficit. That was all these girls, and they showed what they can do when they want to.”

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