The Wapakoneta Redskins learned Thursday that a good finish requires a good start.
The Redskins improved on their serve-receive from their first match Tuesday in order to post a 3-0 win Thursday over the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers in a non-league varsity volleyball match in Waynesfield, with scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-21.
The win was Wapak’s first of the season after a 3-0 loss to Bellefontaine on Tuesday.
“We did a 360 on serve-receive, which is what we needed to do to get the job done,” Redskins varsity coach Amy Ruppert said. “Our serve-receive is what gets the ball to our setters so that our three hitters can hit. When they do that, we can produce.”
Thursday was W-G’s first match under new varsity coach Caitlin Klima. It was also W-G’s season opener, so the loss put the Tigers at 0-1 overall.
Klima evaluated her team’s performance from the standpoint of Thursday’s match being its first of the season.
“We did well,” Klima said. “We definitely could have done better than we did. We just need to see the girls move more, communicate better and be a team.”
Game 3 appeared to be headed toward a W-G win before a Wapak rally.
The Tigers grabbed their first lead of the game at 8-7 and eventually held a 16-11 lead, but the Redskins quickly regained the lead at 21-20 and proceeded to clinch the sweep with a 25-21 win.
Klima explained what allowed her team to play well enough to take the lead in the third game but also what caused its lead to be surrendered.
“They just came together more. When they talk, they do well,” Klima said. “The one big thing was we just couldn’t shake off our mistakes that we were making.”
Ruppert discussed the importance of winning the team’s first match.
“Tonight was important to redeem ourselves from Tuesday night,” Ruppert said Thursday. “We needed a good confidence boost and we needed it through all parts our game. We got to see good serves, passes and sets and they turned into kills.”
Three Wapak hitters posted at least five kills each, as Lyndsi Whitmore led the team with six, while Sarah Horman and Erin Schnell each had five.
“Our kill percentage was good. Our kills were so much better,” Ruppert said. “They were hit with force. We hit in the right areas. That’s because we had good sets, because we had good passes.
“Collectively, all of my hitters did very well,” she said.
Wapak’s setters led the way in service points, as Karli Schneider had nine with two aces and Faith Hensley eight.
Schneider recorded 11 assists, while Hensley notched seven.
“Karli and Faith stepped up and had a solid game,” Ruppert said. “They limited their errors.”
Schneider and Schnell also posted nine digs apiece.
Wapak’s Jadyn Nuss had a team-high 17 digs.
“Our libero did a heck of a job,” Ruppert said. “Jadyn was all over the floor.”
Also for Wapak, Leah Stoner had four blocks and two aces, Addison Gray tallied six assists and three kills and Josie Miller had five digs and four blocks.
W-G took a brief 10-9 lead in Game 1 before Wapak scored 15 of the match’s next 22 points to claim the 25-16 win.
The Redskins led all of Game 2 en route to a 25-15 victory.
Wapak will return to the court Monday with a non-league match at Sidney.
W-G will seek its first win of the season in its next match, a non-league contest at home against Botkins at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Thursday’s junior varsity match was won by Wapak.
The teams split the first two games then Wapak won a tight third game, 28-26.
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