As a general rule, athletes are creatures of habit, especially when preparing for a game. They prefer the same pre-game routines, from warm-up music to ankle-taping sequencing to where they sit on the bench.
So when Cameron arrived a bit late for last night’s volleyball game at Trinity, there might’ve been a little bit of an excuse if the favored Warriors didn’t execute up to their usual level.
No worries. Trinity delivered an energetic and at times quite efficient performance in sweeping the Dragons, 25-12, 25-11, 25-13.
Game 1 began, perhaps as expected, a little sloppy. Both teams traded a few service and hitting errors until the score reached 9-7. The Warriors (7-1) then reeled off six straight points and eight of nine to take command, eventually growing the advantage to 23-9 before closing the game out on Rachel Rosen’s tape-aided service ace.
Behind Caitlyn Nine’s solid serving and a solid, tenacious defense, the Warriors jumped out to a big 8-1 lead over the Dragons (1-5), then rode the precision serving of Morgan Mullens (who finished with seven aces) to win seven straight points at the end of Game 2.
Cameron won the first three points of Game 3, but it didn’t take long for Trinity’s serve receiving and passing game to start to roll, and the early deficit quickly turned into a 10-4 lead. The less experienced Dragons fought back to within three at 10-7, but they’d draw no closer, as Trinity finished out with a 15-6 splurge, Rosen’s full-swing kill on match point the emphatic conclusion.
Libero Jaclyn Smith recorded 10 digs, and Rosen led with seven kills and three blocks.
After the match, Trinity coach Sarah Lasher, ever the perfectionist, found plenty to be pleased about – and plenty to work on.
“I thought the girls played well,” she said. “We passed well, were scrappy in extending points, and did a pretty good job defensively. We could’ve been better in our offensive efficiency, and in particular our kill rate, but all in all, it was a good performance.
“We have to receive and pass well, because we only have eight players,” she continued. “If we’re running around retrieving poor passes, we lose a lot of energy that we can’t afford to lose. So it was encouragng to see them pass the ball well tonight.”
Senior Kate Dlugos, described by her coach as “my most-consistent and well-rounded player who can fit in anywhere on the court we need her,” enjoyed the conversion of practice emphasis into game success.
“We have been working really hard on defense and passing and receiving,” she said, “and we know how much easier the game is for us when we pass well. We communicated great, and kept our energy up all three games, and I think that made a big difference.”
Trinity travels to Cameron next Tuesday for a rematch with the Dragons in a tri-match with Paden City.
University 3, Wheeling Park 0
WHEELING — Lauren Huggins recorded 31 assists and Layne Assif led UHS with 12 service points.
The scores of the matches were 25-15, 25-20 and 25-15.
Also for UHS, Ashten Boggs recorded 15 kills and teammate Kennedy Meadows added nine kills.
The Hawks (3-0) travel to Preston, at 6 p.m. Monday for a tri-match against the Knights and Philip Barbour.
University 2, Wheeling Park 0 (Junior varsity)
Sydney Huntington had seven aces, Abby Lee had six kills and Anna Voris had nine digs in University’s 25-18, 25-15 sweep.
Rachel Shockley had four kills and Jayden Tasker had six digs for University, which is now 3-0.
Preston 2, Lewis County 0
Preston 2, Lewis County 0
KINGWOOD — Izabela Stahl and Kendra Bolinger both scored for the Knights (3-3), while Megan Noss and Rachel Barlow had assists.
Preston will host Capital, at noon Saturday.