Warriors spike Bulldogs in sweep
The Wheatmore volleyball team has many of the pieces to make a deep playoff run.
So, although Trinity has improved a lot, the Warriors were difficult to slow in sweeping Thursday’s PAC-6 2A match at Wheatmore, 25-12, 25-17 and 25-15.
Keyed by solid defense, on-target passing and powerful hitting, Wheatmore (8-0, 2-0 PAC-6) jumped to big leads in the first two sets and made a run at the end of the third to finish off the win.
“We were able to pass the ball well enough to keep everyone involved,” Warriors coach Rodney Kirby said, highlighting the play of senior setter Kelly Davis. “Our middles had tons of kills, our outsides had kills, as well as our right-sides. We just all-around had a really good game.
“When we play like that, we’re tough to beat. I’m sure Trinity came in here on a mission. But when we have all of our cylinders firing, we’re tough. We come at you with five offensive weapons. And if they’re all clicking, we’re stout.”
Davis finished with 43 assists, while Kathryn Johnson (16 kills), Georgia Garrison (12 kills) and Davey Albertson (10 kills) to lead the offense. Emily Brown also had six digs, while Garrison had five and Johnson had three, and Albertson had three blocks.
In the first set, Wheatmore scored 11 of the first 12 points, highlighted by a kill, a tip and three aces by Johnson, to lead big. In the second set, it won 10 of the first 12 points, keyed by three kills by Garrison to again build a lead.
In the third set, after trailing the Bulldogs (7-3, 1-1) 8-7 early, the Warriors, led by Grubb’s two kills and a block, scored five straight to lead 13-8 and then, highlighted by Albertson’s tip and block, the final seven to seal it.
“I think that’s the best we’ve played in a while,” said Johnson, a senior outside hitter. “We played with a sense of urgency, we got after every ball, and our communication was good. So, that really helps a lot. We all played very cohesively.
“Trinity’s always a good team to play because it’s our rival. So, we just wanted to win quick and really make an impression. Against every team we play, we want to leave an impression so other teams see it and are like, ‘Wow.’ That’s something we should do every time we play.”
Trinity, which got a very good performance from Casey Davis, has been playing well to start the season, coach Sarah Beth Campbell said. But the Bulldogs faced a difficult challenge in stopping a Wheatmore team that knew how to exploit their weaknesses on defense.
Still, with as much as they’ve improved, they expect to compete among the top three or four teams in the PAC-6 and keep building.
“We didn’t play as well as we have been,” Campbell said. “Wheatmore has big hitters, and we’re weaker on defense. But, more than that, I think it’s a confidence thing. Just knowing that they can get the ball up and thinking they’re better than us. We’re much better than we let on tonight.
“But we’re playing much better than we did last year. I think that, for the most part, we have better chemistry, we have some girls this year — where last year we didn’t have any — who play J.O. or travel ball. Just those extra touches has helped.”
The Warriors play again Saturday in a tri-match against Cedar Ridge and East Chapel Hill at East Chapel Hill. Trinity visits Randleman on Tuesday.