Madison Co. too much for Wildcats

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

FRONT ROYAL — Warren County played really well defensively against a fast-paced, aggressive Madison County squad on Thursday night. The Wildcats needed their defense and then some against the unbeaten Mountaineers.

Warren County’s defense and some solid serving helped them take a set, but they still fell short in a 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 25-15, 25-16) Madison County Bull Run District victory.

“I was very pleased with how we played,” Warren County coach Sarah Putnam said. “Madison County is a great team. They are very quick and we had some trouble adjusting to their quickness.”

The Wildcats took an early 4-2 lead in the first set on a block by Arie Roth and an ace by Jayme Goode, but then the Mountaineers took over.

Madison County used a 10-1 run to take the lead and pull away for good. The Mountaineers scored 17 of their 25 points in the set off of kills or blocks.

“The first game was more typical of the way we play,” Madison County coach Carol Nowakoski said. “That was the best defense we’ve seen all year. They did a great job defensively. They really kept us on our toes.”

The serving of Warren County junior Hannah Wilson gave the Mountaineers fits in the second set to help the Wildcats even the match.

Trailing 9-5, Wilson stepped to the service line and reeled off 11 consecutive points, including four aces to give the Wildcats a 16-9 edge.

“Hannah did a great job serving tonight,” Putnam said. “She served consistently and her serves were hard. She did a good job hitting to certain targets.”

The Mountaineers were able to rally in the set. Madison County’s Sheridan Santinga and Cassity Lacy combined for three kills and a block during a 10-3 spurt that cut the lead to 19-18.

The two teams went back and forth until a Madison County service error gave Warren County a 24-22 lead. Wilson then stepped to the service line again and finished the set off with her fifth ace.

The Mountaineers responded in the third and fourth sets, as their aggressive and fast play was too much for the Wildcats.

Three kills and a block by Warren County’s Autumn Troxell helped keep the Wildcats in the third set, and pulled them to within 12-10. However, Madison County’s Bailey Colvin served seven straight points, including three aces, to pull away.

Madison County (7-0) built a 23-7 lead in the fourth set before the Wildcats rallied, but it wasn’t enough.

“We made some mistakes and they capitalized on them,” Putnam said. “And we capitalized on their mistakes. That’s why I thought it was a very good match.”

Santinga had 19 kills and Lacy added 18 for the Mountaineers. The second-set loss was only the fourth this season for the Mountaineers.

“It was good for us to lose one,” Nowakoski said. “Some of the teams in the Bull Run District are a little weak, and when you’re beating everybody three-0, three-0, it’s good to get a match like this. I have a lot of respect for Warren County.”

Troxell had 10 kills and five blocks to lead Warren County (4-2) , while Roth added four kills and a block.

“The girls didn’t give up tonight,” Putnam said. “They hung in and fought to the end, and I was pleased with that.”