Warriors cruise in straight sets
By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY — Sherando volleyball coach Chuck Ashby knows that when his team is firing on all cylinders, they’re a joy to watch.
It took a little time for the Warriors to get going on Monday night, but once they did, they didn’t stop. Sherando pulled out a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-13) win over Skyline in Northwestern District action.
“I felt better once that second game got going,” Ashby said. “We did better on our serves. I felt like our defense — Erica [Scully], Clare [Scully], Erin [Magalis] — I felt like we were passing the ball well. I felt like [setter] Blair [Adams] was getting good looks, and I felt like she was getting good options.”
Adams did have plenty of options to go to throughout the match, with four different hitters making a big impact in the win.
Things started out slowly for the Warriors as Skyline built a 14-10 lead. Sherando rallied back, led by Kelsey Singhas and Michelle Baker. Singhas started a 10-3 run for the Warriors with a kill.
“We just knew we had to win and we had to pick it up,” Singhas said.
Baker had two kills and two blocks during the run, which gave Sherando the lead for good.
A kill by Skyline’s Taylor Ziemer cut the lead to 20-19. Sherando won five of the final points of the set, including a kill by Baker and an ace by Magalis.
Sherando (8-6, 3-1 Northwestern) took control right from the start in the second set. Alaina Combs had three kills to spark an early 8-1 lead.
Singhas finished the set with a team-high seven kills. Skyline made a run late in the set. A 7-3 spurt helped the Hawks cut the lead to 23-17. A service error from Skyline and an ace by Milburn finished off the set.
“We played well the first set, and then I’m not sure what happened in the second and third,” Skyline coach Lesley Detweiler said.
The two teams went back and forth in the third set with Sherando holding a 4-3 edge. Kills by six different played helped fuel an 18-6 surge by the Warriors. Four errors by Sherando gave Skyline (6-6, 0-3) a little life, but kills by Mackenzie Cornwell, Combs and Singhas finished the match off.
“I felt like we played good,” Singhas said. “We worked together and we talked a lot. We started off slow, but then we finished well.”
Skyline was led by Ziemer’s four kills. Even though they are in the same district, the two teams will not play each other in the postseason. Detweiler said she hopes matches like Monday’s will help her team in the postseason.
“We’re going to see competition like this the rest of the season,” Detweiler said. “Hopefully this helps get us ready for conference play.”
Singhas led the Warriors with 12 kills, while Combs had eight kills. Baker added five kills and three blocks, and Cornwell had six kills and one block for Sherando. Dellinger also had two kills and a block.
The Warriors had two tough matches last week, including a hard-fought loss to James Wood. Ashby said he feels good about how his team continues to progress.
“Even the James Wood game that we didn’t win, I feel like we’re going up, and I still like we’re going up,” Ashby said. “If we can keep our intensity up. We just got to keep our intensity up, I feel like that’s our biggest key.”
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd