Wilson Memorial topples Stonewall

QUICKSBURG – Serving was the name of the game Tuesday night as visiting Wilson Memorial (2-1 Shenandoah District, 4-4 overall) defeated the 1-3, 1-8 Stonewall Jackson High School 3-0 in straight sets.

Wilson Memorial controlled each set, scoring 25 points in each of the three games compared to 14, 17 and 17 for the home team.

While the match counted in the Shenandoah District standings, this was not a conference matchup.

“Serving? I don’t know. We missed 12 serves,” said Wilson Memorial coach Lauren Grove with a laugh. “The difference was the aces – we got in some aces.”

Stonewall Jackson picked up its first win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Central on Monday night, and the success buoyed coach Lindsey Dinges’ team before a home crowd. The victory over the Falcons was on the road.

“We did some things well (Monday) that we didn’t do as well tonight,” said Dinges. “Mainly serving.”

The Generals’ boss is a stickler for services, so it was understandable that she would be upset over her team’s five aces, especially compared with the dozen the Hornets threw at them.

Wilson Memorial libero Madison Lam was good for six services aces, five of which came in the first game. Teammate Cheridan Hatfield added five.

For Stonewall, feisty Juliana Brill collected three aces, while senior Emily Ball had three kills to lead the Generals in that statistic. Madison Long added two blocks.

“Emily played hard throughout. In fact, I’m not upset with the girls. We’ve just got to keep improving,” Dinges said.

Aces for the Hornets in games one and three were particularly noticeable on the scoreboard.

Lam, a lefthander, served five consecutive aces in the initial set. Her team had just assumed a 7-6 lead. It had been the fourth such lead change between the two teams. Another kill by Cassidy Davis (five on the night) made it a 2-point Hornets’ lead.

Then came the offerings of Lam. When she was done, the visitors were ahead 13-6.

The closest the Generals would come would be a score of 20-14, but the Hornets closed off the set with five straight counters to win the initial frame 25-14.

Stonewall Jackson fell behind 5-1 from the outset in game two. Yet the Generals refused to falter.

Behind 9-5, Stonewall Jackson quickly made up the difference. Three errors by the Hornets pulled the Generals within 9-8. Then an ace by Brill knotted up the scoreboard for the first time of the game.

There would be no more ties or Stonewall leads for the remainder of game two, but the Generals fought back to 12-11.

At that point, Stonewall committed an unforced error, Peyton Sykes of the visitors recorded an ace and another General miscue gave the visitors the 15-11 difference.

The Generals pulled within 2 points on two occasions, but with the 21-17 advantage, the Hornets scored the final points to make it 25-17.

Serving again showed Wilson Memorial’s strength.

The Hornets advanced to a 5-0 lead based on three straight aces by Hatfield (two kills for the match) to begin game three.

Then another positive serving spin occurred for Wilson Memorial.

The Generals trailed 15-12 when Wilson Memorial went to the service line and never relinquished its hold on it.

When Hatfield went to the backline her team scored 7 straight points and took a 22-12 advantage that set up the end of the match.

Both Wilson Memorial scoring ace Lam and Coach Grove were asked if being a southpaw – which Lam is – helps with the ball spin.

“Not really,” said Grove.

“It’s more about where you point your shoulders,” added Lam. “I’ve never really thought I had any more advantage than anyone else (when it comes to spin on the ball).”

“She’s just special,”said Grove.

“I do think the aces helped us gain control and gave us a boost of momentum,” said Grove.”

The Hornets outshot their foes 27-7 in kills. Hannah Johnson led all scorers with nine kills and an ace.