WAYNESFIELD — Having narrowly won the first set and trailing early in the second, the Wapakoneta Redskins varsity volleyball coach called a timeout.
Redskins coach Keith Rambin challenged his team to play to their potential.
Trailing 5-4 to the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers moments into the second set, the Redskins worked hard until they finally tied the score at 14-all and took the lead on the next point to gain momentum in the set and the match. They outscored the Tigers 11-4 the rest of the way and won the second game 25-18.
“I told them that good volleyball teams play good, consistent volleyball the entire match and after that timeout we started to play consistent, sound volleyball,” Rambin told the Wapakoneta Daily News after the Redskins swept the Tigers in three sets — 25-20, 25-18 and 25-8.
The team started playing better out of the break. Senior Morgan Quellhorst got a kill after a dig by junior Nicole Brown. Senior Krissy Stienbaugh had a nice dig on the next play despite losing the point. They finally got on a roll after a couple of kills by Stienbaugh and Quellhorst later in the game.
In the first set, the Redskins took the first took points, but the Tigers made nice passes and set up their players at the next to grab an 8-5 lead. The Redskins returned the favor and knotted the score at 8-all before grabbing a 20-12 lead.
The Tigers would not surrender and battled back to trail 23-20, trying to take advantage of the momentum they built, but the Redskins junior Ashley Cox made a kill for a 24-20 lead and the Redskins captured the first set, 25-20, on the next point.
“We came out extremely flat and we kind of allowed them to stick around a lot longer than we should have,” Rambin said. “We are traditionally a slow starting team. We started off slow against Bath on Friday night and before we knew it was 9-3.
“We just have to figure out how to stop starting out so slow,” the varsity coach said. “Saturday matches are always tough — we started slow, they played well, but we have to play better if we want to be considered a good team. We finally started our offense clicking about the 20th point in the second set. I think we outscored them 30-10 and that is how we have to play.”
Tiger varsity coach Karen Dunson said her team came out ready to play.
“The first two sets we came out pretty strong and we were reacting well to the ball and the strong Wapak hitters,” Dunson said. “The third game we just hit a mental block and it is real hard for our girls to fight their way out of it. We were not reacting as much, we started hesitating and in volleyball you can’t do that.”
The Tigers lost the third set 25-8 as the Redskins streaked to a 7-2 lead and jumped out on top 18-5 when the Tigers grabbed control after a long volley but a rotation error gave the Redskins a point and control of the serve. The Redskins put the set and match away on a kill by Stienbaugh.
Dunson gave credit to her squad, noting they practice digs and passing a lot and it showed in the first two sets.
“We have our big hitters hitting to anybody on our defense and we try to put game situations in place for our digs and passing,” Dunson said. “Today our girls did a real good job of digging and moving in the first two games and I think Bailey Collins had a real nice match today getting to the net.
“We just have to figure out how to carry this out through an entire game,” she said.
Rambin reported Brown led the team with 26 assists and Stienbaugh had 10 kills, while junior Amber Dickerson had 19 digs and junior Megan Hayzlett recorded three aces.
In the junior varsity match, the Tigers challenged the Redskins early in the first set. After tthe Tigers quickly jumped out to a 6-0 in the first set, but the Redskins returned the favor scoring the next 11 points.
The Redskins then scored seven of the next nine points before strolling to a 25-13 win.
The second set also mirrored the first with the Redskins trailing early before knotting the score at 10 before grabbing the lead. The Tigers knotted the score at 17 and again at 18-all before the Redskins took control for the 25-19 win.