- Eyes On
The Wapakoneta Redskins lost their third straight match Tuesday against the Parkway Panthers, 3-1, in a non-league varsity volleyball match at Wapakoneta High School.
Game scores Tuesday were 25-12, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-13.
The loss put Wapak at 6-4 overall.
“We knew Parkway was a solid team. There’s no doubt about that,” Wapak varsity coach Amy Ruppert said. “What we can do better though is to continue to work on our serve-receive, and then when we had those moments of good serve-receive, we couldn’t get the setter to set the ball.
“It’s very frustrating, but one thing you can take from matches like that, you’re digging, scraping and clawing for every point,” she said.
Parkway led from start to finish in the first game, while Wapakoneta blew a 20-15 lead in the second game.
After 13 lead changes in the third game, the Redskins pulled out a nail-biting win, 25-23.
Tied at 20-20, a block by junior Lea Stoner gave Wapak the lead for good.
“We needed that win to build momentum,” Ruppert said about going into the fourth game. “We needed to show the girls that they were still capable of playing with Parkway and potentially getting a win.”
With momentum, Wapak sought to even the match in the fourth game but found difficulty doing so.
Parkway essentially finished Tuesday’s match where it left off, leading from start to finish in a 25-13 rout.
The Panthers led 11-9 midway through the fourth game before they scored nine straight points to take a 20-9 lead.
“We just couldn’t get that momentum back,” Ruppert said.
Ruppert, after a lackluster start to Tuesday’s match with a 25-12 loss in the first game, discussed what she told the team in order to turn it around the rest of the match.
“No team is going to come in here and roll over for you,” Ruppert said. “This is your house and you’re here to protect it, but no one is going to come in and just hand it to you. They’re going to make you work for every point.”
The Redskins grabbed their first lead in the second game at 4-3 and pushed their lead to 8-3 with four straight service points by Karli Schneider.
Parkway closed its deficit to 12-11 before Wapak built a 20-15 lead.
The Panthers then scored eight straight points to take a 23-20 lead and went on to win by three, 25-22.
Schneider had 17 digs, 10 service points and nine assists Tuesday.
“Karli struggled at the get-go,” Ruppert said. “But she’s a captain and she turned it around.
“She had to do a better job of not just setting the outside over and over again because we needed to mix it up,” she said. “So then we started seeing her confidence build, and she started setting the middle and started setting the weak side.”
Wapak’s outside hitters Erin Schnell and Sarah Horman each had five kills.
“They did do a good job tonight,” Ruppert said Tuesday. “We’ve talked to Erin and Sarah a lot. They come out in practice and they just cream the ball. Come game time, I don’t know if it is a confidence issue or if they have a bigger blocker in front of them, they think they can’t hit through it, but they are strong girls.
“I think tonight what elevated their game tonight was that they were hitting the ball hard,” she said.
Schnell added 20 digs and seven service points.
Stoner, who fractured her nose last week in practice, continues to sport a face guard, taking her place in the Redskins’ front row.
Stoner had 10 blocks and three kills.
“It takes a lot of courage for someone to get up there and play with a fractured nose,” Ruppert said.
The Redskins will continue their season Thursday with a Western Buckeye League home match against the Bath Wildkittens.
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