By Dennis Atwood - email@example.com
WOODSTOCK -- If they had been playing cards Tuesday, the Central Falcons would have been tossed out of the casino for stacking the deck.
Because it was volleyball, Central's amazing 25-ace effort, while committing only five service errors, was the key to their 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-14) sweep of the Warren County Wildcats in celebrating their home opener with their first win of the season Tuesday night.
It was a complete get-back for Central (1-2), which was swept at Warren County in its Aug. 24 season opener.
"I think they played phenomenal," Falcons coach Allison Huckstep said. "Sometimes our passing was a little poor, but our good serving helped us pull out of those holes.
"We played as a team and this win is a tribute to the whole team. They make each other better and encourage each other. I'm very proud of them tonight."
Senior libero Hillary Gochenour rotated to the service line with Central leading 2-1 in the third set. Her first two serves resulted in Wildcats attack errors.
Gochenour then served four consecutive aces. Following another Wildcats attack error, Gochenour repeated the four-ace feat, for a match-high eight, and an 11-0 service streak to put Central up 13-1, a lead that Warren County simply could not overcome.
"It was the energy from my team and it was just infectious, and I caught it and we just went with it," Gochenour said. "We just try to mix it up [with our serves] and surprise 'em and don't let 'em know what's coming."
But the longest service winning streak of the match was accomplished by Central senior hitter Lindsey Toothman in the second set, when she bank-rolled 13 consecutive points, including four consecutive aces (six for the match) to give the Falcons a 24-8 lead.
Toothman's streak ended when her next serve went long. After two Central attack errors, the Wildcats' served long to give the Falcons the set-winning point, 25-11
"It was really exciting," Toothman said. "We came out today and we really wanted to show what we could do in our home court. And we really played well together as a team. It was a lot of fun.
"After we came off the court with that close first-set score, we knew we had to put it in gear."
Senior Haley Cahill added five aces and Marissa Brandon had five kills and three blocks (including two down-blocks for points) for the Falcons.
Warren County (1-2) committed 20 attack errors, collected seven aces and made nine service errors, while Central accumulated 16 offensive miscues.
Top performers for the Wildcats were junior Patricia Thompson with five kills, and senior Amber Buffa and sophomore Rachel Cerretani with three aces each.
"We played terrible tonight," Wildcats coach Scott Wilde said. "We couldn't serve-receive. I don't know what's happened. I'm at a loss right now. We just didn't come to play tonight."
The Falcons will travel to Stonewall Jackson to begin Shenandoah District play next Tuesday.