With postseason play right around the corner, Wapakoneta Redskins varsity volleyball coach Keith Rambin wanted to send a message.
After a bit of a slow start, the Redskins recovered and rolled to a dominating 25-22, 25-14, 25-16 win over the Shawnee Indians on Tuesday at Wapakoneta High School.
Down 11-7 after committing several errors in the first game, Wapak rallied with seven straight points to take a 14-11 lead and never looked back.
“It builds mental confidence,” Rambin said. “There’s something to be said about eeking out an ugly 25-23 win as opposed to sending a message and winning 25-14, as much as it is to the rest of the WBL as it is to mentally preparing ourselves for the tournament. We’ve got to believe that we can win.”
Wapak concludes its Western Buckeye League season Thursday at Kenton and opens sectional tournament play against Bath on Tuesday at Lima Senior High School.
The Redskins compete in an all-WBL sectional along with Bath, Celina, Defiance, Elida, St. Marys, Shawnee and Van Wert.
Wapak is 12-8 overall and 5-3 in the WBL. Shawnee is 3-17 and 1-7.
Celina leads the league at 7-1 (12-6 overall).
On Seniors Night on Tuesday, senior Krissy Stienbaugh led the Redskins with 12 kills and classmate Marci Grothouse had four aces.
Junior Amber Dickerson had 14 digs and junior Nicole Brown had 24 assists.
Rambin went with a 6-2 attack, an offense the Redskins have rarely used this season, in the first game to give his seniors more playing time in their final home game. He reverted back to the usual 5-1 in the second game.
After a 25-22 win in the first game, Wapak jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the second behind three aces by junior Carli Sammons and a pair of kills by senior Morgan Quellhorst.
Shawnee never got closer than five in the game and Wapak pulled away to a 25-14 win.
The Redskins led 8-7 in the third game before taking advantage of a pair of kills by junior Megan Hayzlett in a six-point rally to take a 14-7 lead.
Wapak stretched the lead to 24-16 before a Stienbaugh kill sealed the 25-16 win.
“We’ve played a 6-2 but we’ve never started with a 6-2,” Rambin said. “I could have stayed with the same lineup and we probably would have won. But you want to work on some things and you want a nice, smooth transition into the tournament.”