West Holmes Volleyball

Lady Knights ready to roll as they put together first winning streak of the season

Reagan Wilcox

Getting on rolls and scoring bunches of points in a row in volleyball games is usually a great thing that leads to wins, but in-game rolls don’t compare to victory rolls, and the West Holmes Lady Knights hope they have started on of those.

After thumping Loudonville in a quick three-set victory, West Holmes faced Mansfield Madison on Thursday, Sept. 7 in the Dungeon at West Holmes High School.

West Holmes won 19-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-22 for its second straight win, its first winning streak of the year.

“It’s nice to put two wins back-to-back and get on a roll,” West Holmes coach Savannah Moore said. “I think it will go a long way in giving us some confidence.”

Despite being 1-8, Madison is a dangerous and talented team, and that proved to be the case in game one when the Rams took it to the Lady Knights and handed them a 25-19 loss.

“We came out sluggish and didn’t seem very ready to play,” Moore said. “We got down, but we kept swinging tough and pulled this thing out.”

West Holmes didn’t stay in that funk, and pretty soon they started playing the way Moore expects them to perform.

Game two was tied at 10 and 12, and then the two teams began trading punches, going back and forth as they battled in the crucial game that was going to either give the Rams a big edge or lock things up at one game apiece.

Madison would inch out to a 21-19 advantage, but a Lauren Park kill, a Rams error and a service ace from Sarah Anderson tied things at 21. After Madison took the lead, Park struck again with a huge sweeping hammer to tie it at 22. The Knights then took the lead, going up 24-22, and Park would end it with a vicious hit that caromed off of two Rams blockers, tying the games up at one apiece.

West Holmes blew open game three, spurting out to a quick 7-2 edge, but Madison came right back to tie it at 7-7 with five straight points. A pair of Reagan Wilcox kills stemmed the tide for West Holmes, which eventually led 13-11. At that point the Lady Knights seized control. A pair of Park kills and two service aces from Sarah Anderson paved the way for West Holmes to cruise to an easy win to go up 2-1.

Now with momentum, the Lady Knights put it into overdrive in game four, looking to put the Rams away for good. A quick 5-2 disappeared as the Rams tied it at 5-5, but West Holmes got hot again. Sarah Anderson plunked a shot perfectly in the far corner for a point. Chloe Roach recorded a kill, and Abbie Allison knocked down two kills. The Rams then started coming unglued with several unforced errors, and suddenly the Lady Knights were in control 17-8.

“During the times we pulled away, we played with a little more sense of urgency,” Moore said. “When we get complacent is when we get in trouble.”

Trouble came, and it came quickly.

The knockout punch was not forthcoming as Madison clawed back and got it back to 17-14.

“Madison is such a scrappy team, and they never give up,” Moore said. “I told the girls they were going to dig and keep battling, and they can be frustrating because they give such a great effort. I told the girls that was when we had to really dig deep. We still have to learn how to be more mentally tough and to stay engaged until a game is over.”

Eventually Madison got as close as 21-19, making things far too interesting for Moore, and after Park scored on a dink kill, Madison got two more to inch to within 22-21. With the game in the balance, Park got a kill, and Madison hit a ball long. At 24-21, the two teams engaged in a lengthy point that seemed to go on forever until Colista Gamerstfelder ended the game and the match by swatting down an attempted Rams kill.

“That point went on forever,” Moore said. “I love those rallies, and I am proud of our girls for staying with that point and not panicking. We have struggled this year with blocks, and I told the girls late that we needed someone to step up and make a big block. Finally Colista just went up and got it done.”

The mini-winning streak should provide a much-needed boost of confidence for a team that continues to fight through some learning curve issues. Moore said the team continues to trend in the right direction.

“I think this kind of proves to the girls that we are a good team and we can compete every single night,” Moore said.

Park led the Lady Knights’ offense with 21 kills, 12 digs and a match-high five service aces. Sarah Anderson had 25 assists with eight digs. Cam Yeager had 12 digs while Emily Anderson had the match high 22 digs and served up three aces. Nadia Rouse also paced the defense with 10 digs. Roach and Wilcox each added five kills to help the Lady Knights improve to 3-5.

Moore said they focused a lot of attention on serving for aces, and she said both of the Anderson twins and Park did a great job of creating points on serve. She said as a whole, her team did an exceptional job at the service line, and it was a huge part of the win.

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