Lady Wolves hit and run

October 10, 2008
BY Andrew Snyder Staff Writer

PLANO -- The Plano West-Plano Senior volleyball match was moved to an earlier time Friday, 5 p.m., to accommodate the Lady Wolves homecoming football game.

But since West won the match in three games, 25-12, 25-19, 25-22; they easily could have made it by 6 p.m.

“Homecoming motivated [the girls] to get the game over with,” said Brittany Bridge, West head coach.

Game 1 was all set to be close, with the opening points split evenly between West and Plano. But then the Lady Wolves switched their game to a higher level. Up 11-10, West went on an eight-point scoring drive. An ace from senior Laura Muth fed into a kill from senior Madie Jones which in turn led to another Muth ace which again prefaced a Jones kill. Senior Haley Wessels interjected from there and killed three balls, blocked two more and won the game for her team.

After losing by such a wide spread, Plano accelerated its game.

“I’m glad the kids played hard and never gave up,” said Jennifer Cron, Plano head coach. “We battled the whole time.”

Game 2 was rapid and its speed was helped by a bipolar combination of poor servicing and excellent serving from each team. Junior Kenzie Thompson shot the Lady Wildcats to an early lead by acing the first two serves and the Lady Wolves were perplexed. Another ace from senior Carly Hoeler a set of exchanges later helped Plano establish a 9-5 advantage. Shaking out of her confusion, Wessels rocketed through an ace of her own which gave freshman Laura Jones and junior Rachael Bedell the time they needed with the ball to gain a kill.

But the Lady Wildcats didn’t give up their lead. Blocks at the net from junior Caiti Wenger and sophomore Maddy Haas gave senior Danielle Manack a chance at serving and she gratefully favored her team with an ace.

West took shots at Plano’s lead with a Madie Jones kill here and a Wessels block or kill there, which eventually turned its trail into a lead. Once they had accomplished this, they capped an already ace- happy game with three Madie Jones aces in a row to put the score at 24-16.

Wenger tried to reestablish the Lady Wildcats position on the board, but a kill and a block later sealed the game for West, 25-19.

Game 3 began familiarly with neither team managing to gain a lead. The Lady Wildcats duo of Haas and Wenger and the Lady Wolves pair of Madie Jones and Wessels established a polite system where one would get a kill and then allow the opposition one of their own. With the score tied 7-7 and senior Michelle Harris serving, West fueled six consecutive points with kills reinforced by solid net defense.

Plano was expected to fold from here, but they chose instead to surprise.

Down 17-13, Plano forced the West into a five-point loss due to overly careless play. Intense offensive pressure from Haas, sophomore Taylor Story and Wenger kept the Lady Wolves hitting balls out of bounds or committing violations to put the score at 17-17.

Unlike Plano, West stayed consistent throughout the night though and the Lady Wolves regained their dominance. Bedell and senior Lucy Zheng were at the net for support and Laura Jones was warping around the court, seeming to block shots and get kills simultaneously. West finished the game and match with a Madie Jones kill that added one more to her team’s undefeated record and made sure the girls could get to homecoming on time.

West had a short celebration before hurrying off to prepare for the football game. Bridge stayed behind and praised her team.

“They passed really well and served really aggressively,” she said. “As for being undefeated (in district), they just play. They want to win and hate to lose.”

Cron was naturally not as pleased, but she could find comfort in the fact that her team would have another chance at defeating West.

“We’re pretty upset.” she said “This is far from over, we got another game coming.

“Our district is very competitive. West hasn’t lost and they’ve established themselves, but everyone’s going to be gunning for them now.”

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