Motivated Wildcats sweep past Rams

FRONT ROYAL — Sometimes a loss can be a real motivator for a team. Warren County used that kind of motivation to its advantage on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats knocked off Strasburg 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-12) in Bull Run District volleyball action. Warren County suffered a 3-0 loss to Skyline on Monday night, and the loss didn’t sit well with the team.

“We played really well,” Warren County senior Sam Schroyer said. “We played like we knew we were able to do. Coming out of (Monday’s loss to) Skyline where we played not as we were capable of doing, and tonight we just had a little chip on our shoulder and we came out to get ’em.”

The match started early as the junior varsity match was canceled due to heavy rain and potential flooding.

The first set was close until Schroyer’s two kills and a block gave the Wildcats a 22-16 edge. Strasburg’s Carey Scott had a kill to help cut the lead to 23-17, but a Strasburg service error and a kill from Michaela Berry sealed the set for the Wildcats.

“We moved our feet. We got our passes up, our sets were there, and we got good shots off of it,” Schroyer said. “It was a well-rounded effort.”

The Rams (4-6, 1-4 Bull Run) took an early lead in the second set, sparked by a kill each from Rachel Funkhouser and Cortney McDonald and a service ace by Haley Copeland.

Schroyer helped the Wildcats regain the lead and they wouldn’t relinquish it the rest of the way. Schroyer had four kills, and Kaley Foulks and Berry each had one kill during a 6-2 run to give Warren County a 16-12 lead.

“It’s like once you get a good one you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to do it again right now,'” Schroyer said of her kills. “It helps when you get pass after pass and set after set. I’ve worked with my setter Chelsey Butler since middle school, so she knows me better than I know the back of my hand. We work together very well and tonight it showed.”

The Rams were able to cut the lead to 19-18, aided by two kills from Cassie Cooper and a block by Funkhouser. However, the Wildcats responded by winning six of the final seven points, including a kill each by Michayla Bacon, Jayme Goode and Arianna Smoot.

The third set was all Warren County (6-5, 2-3 Bull Run). The Wildcats led from start to finish and were helped by 16 Strasburg errors.

“I’m just frustrated with them. … I’m just at a loss for words,” Strasburg coach Suzanne Mathias said. “It starts with the pass. If we don’t get our passes up, we can’t set it on the net. We don’t hit with teams. When you play teams that have good hitters. They have four good hitters. You have to hit with them. You can’t send them a free ball over and just let them hit the ball at you. You might as well just not even show up.”

Warren County coach Dorinda Robinson said that she was pleased with how her team played, and the key is playing that way all the time.

“They see what they can do. They just need to continue to play this way,” Robinson said. “… Hopefully, this is a big hurdle for us and we can continue to play like we’re capable of playing.”

Mathias said she was disappointed with the tentative play of the seniors.

“I got six seniors out there who are turning and looking at other people to take the ball,” Mathias said. “If you’re a senior you got to take the ball and not look for the younger ones to take it, and the younger ones can’t be afraid of the seniors.”

Schroyer finished with six kills and three blocks to lead the Wildcats, while Goode added five kills. Foulks and Bacon each had three kills, while Smoot had two blocks for the Wildcats. Butler had 11 assists, and Taryn Post had nine assists for Warren County.

Schroyer said she believes the win will be a turning point for the Wildcats.

“I think people tend to think we got swept by Skyline, so we’re just going to fall under a rock or something. No, we’re going to come back strong,” Schroyer said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com