With wins hard to come by so far this season, the West Holmes Lady Knights volleyball team will take any victories they can earn, and on Thursday, Sept. 20 they dealt visiting Mansfield Senior a quick three-game loss by pounding out a 25-8, 25-7, 25-12 victory.
The win is just the second of the season for West Holmes, their only other victory coming earlier this season against these same Tygers in Ohio Cardinal Conference play.
Having dominated the Tygers twice now, head coach Sydney Mast said the victory is always welcome, but the main thing she wanted to see was continuing improvement in her youthful squad.
“When you play teams that are not as advanced skill-wise, you have to make sure you play your game, focus on fundamentals and try to hone in on making your play as perfect as it can be. Even though you can’t have perfect play, you can still try to be as perfect as you can be to better yourselves for when you do face higher quality competition. We just wanted to be as consistent with our game as we could tonight.”
With several players still confined to the bench with injuries including Nadia Rouse, the starting libero who took the night off with a nagging injury and joined starting outside hitters Regan Wilcox and Colista Gamersfelder, who were both on crutches, Mast turned to some junior varsity players who added to the team depth, although on this night West Holmes handled everything with ease, never trailing at any point in the three games.
In the opening game West Holmes charged out to a huge 11-3 lead and never looked back as hitters Megan Jones and Claire Reynolds took care of business at the net. Emily Anderson was busy serving aces at an alarming rate. The game seemed to only get easier for the Lady Knights as it went along, and Senior soon fell in game one.
Game two was a carbon copy as West Holmes jumped all over Senior to forge a big lead early, led by Roach and this time Sarah Anderson at the service line. Youngsters Harmony Mast and Rachel Rohr also played meaningful minutes.
Game three was a different story as the Tygers stepped up their game a bit and actually knotted up the score at 5-5 and 8-8. However, West Holmes rattled off four quick points as Roach and Jones each scored off of kills, and the Lady Knights rolled after that.
Mast said getting a chance to work some of her JV players into the game was a plus, and getting them action now at the varsity level will help for the future.
Mast still did have some veteran leadership on the floor as twins Emily and Sara Anderson, Abbie Allison, and junior Chloe Roach provided more than enough leadership for West Holmes to run away with the victory.
“I thought they all played a strong game, and Chloe did a good job of being a leader, communicating and executing her shots,” Mast said.
With their second win in tow, Mast said they are simply going out night after night to work on improving, enjoying the game and having fun while at the same time trying to get wins.
“We want to have fun, but a win is always a great thing for our confidence, and we have to learn how to win, so this was good for us,” Mast said.