Struggles persist for Stonewall

By Brad Fauber

QUICKSBURG — Inconsistencies have plagued Stonewall Jackson’s volleyball team all season, and it seems no matter how much the Generals try they simply can’t put together a complete match.

Stonewall got more of the same against Shenandoah District foe Wilson Memorial on Tuesday, as the Generals couldn’t maintain momentum from an early victory and never could quite get over the hump in a 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 9-25, 20-25) loss.

The Generals served well on Tuesday night, missing on just six attempts from the service line, but Stonewall’s offensive attack sputtered at times and its serve receive was even more lackluster.

Wilson Memorial finished the match with 18 aces, and the Generals committed numerous errors due to miscommunication that led directly to other service points for the Hornets.

“We just can’t put everything together in one night. We did a really good job serving tonight, and the last few nights we’ve done a really good job serving, but we still … continue to struggle with serve receive,” Generals coach Jamie Armentrout said. “We work on serve receive every single practice for the majority of practice, but at this point I think we’re lacking in desire.”

While Stonewall Jackson (1-12, 1-8 Shenandoah) suffered through the same struggles that has become a trademark of its disappointing season, Armentrout and the Generals did finally see at least a small variation of the norm.

The Generals managed to erase an early 8-0 deficit in the first set — helped largely by senior Allison Singleton’s six kills and Kayla Miller’s three aces in game one — and ended up taking a 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-22 victory.

Stonewall scored the final seven points of the set, as Singleton tallied three kills and Miller scored a pair of aces during the run.

“Tonight I was proud of the girls because that was the first time I’ve seen them all season come from being that far behind and actually come back and win a game,” Armentrout said. “It shows potential of what we can do, we just have to figure out how to put it all together.”

Unfortunately for the Generals, that was about as encouraging as things got, as Wilson Memorial’s (6-9, 6-3) offense heated up over the final three games.

The Green Hornets put together a balanced attack on Tuesday night, as five different players recorded at least six kills for Wilson Memorial.

“It’s kind of all around so there isn’t one main person like a lot of teams have,” Hornets coach Lauren Grove said of Wilson Memorial’s offense. “We’ve got a bunch of people that can hit.”

Wilson Memorial responded from its loss in the first set to take a commanding 19-8 lead in game two behind three kills apiece from senior Whitney Harris and sophomore Jordan Poole. Stonewall did manage to slowly chip into the deficit, but the early hole was too much for the Generals to overcome.

The Hornets rolled to a lopsided 25-9 win in the third set as Stonewall committed 11 unforced errors and couldn’t seem to find a groove in its offensive attack, but the Generals continued to fight into the fourth game.

Stonewall erased a three-point deficit thanks to two Hornets errors and an ace by Singleton, but Wilson Memorial managed to push its lead back to three on kills by Harris and senior Kasey Crist.

The Generals gained a 14-13 advantage on three straight aces by sophomore Elizabeth Moomaw, but Wilson Memorial reclaimed the lead for good on Crist’s fourth kill of the set and ended the game on a 10-5 run.

“There are situations where it’s so frustrating because we’re so close, but it just seems that we don’t have the right people in the right places,” said Armentrout, who added that the Generals haven’t done a good enough job of capitalizing on opposing teams’ mistakes. “It seems like the people we want hitting are always in the back or the people we want serving are always in the front row. I’m hoping with every change of the rotation that we continue to have, sometime we’ll fall into place and everything will click once.”

Singleton led the Generals with a match-high 13 kills. Senior Desirae Blank finished with three kills and three blocks for Stonewall, while Cheyenne Crigger tallied three kills. Miller finished with four aces.

Harris led the Hornets with nine kills to complement the efforts of Alison Eskridge (eight kills), Crist (seven kills), Poole (six kills), Lacy Arey (six kills) and Danielle Fitzgerald (seven aces).

Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD