WAYNESFIELD — The better they played at the start of games, the easier time the Botkins Trojans had trying to finish them Saturday in their 3-0 win against the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers in a non-league varsity volleyball match.
Botkins had a 5-0 lead to start Game 1 and a 7-0 lead to start Game 2, landing eventual wins by double digits, 25-14 and 25-11. In Game 2, the teams were tied at 5-5 in a match that W-G led at times, though Botkins eventually rallied for a 25-11 win.
Botkins varsity coach Bryan Trego described how his team approaches the start of each game.
“We really focus on starting with positive hits, sets and serves and canceling yourself out with negative hits, especially at the beginning of the match when working into game speed,” Trego said. “You want every hit to be the hardest hit possible. If the other team is getting kills, that’s on them, but we’re not going to hurt ourselves early. We can’t start off in a hole.”
In Game 2, the Tigers had a lead three separate times, the last instance at 14-13.
Botkins took its final lead of Game 2 at 21-20.
W-G varsity coach Caitlin Klima commented on the differences between Games 1 and 3, each double digit losses, and Game 2 in which W-G led multiple times.
“The second game was a close game. We had our heads in it. We played well together,” Klima said. “In the first and third games, we just fell apart. We didn’t communicate.”
Botkins’ Sami Vehorn had 12 kills Saturday, adding two aces and three digs.
Botkins’ Allison Guckes notched a team-high 37 digs. Rachelle Maurer had 16 digs, supplying 10 kills andtwo aces. Denise Schwartz recorded eight digs, seven kills and two aces.
Trego highlighted those individuals for their performances Saturday.
“Sami Vehorn is a sophomore and has been a huge part of our offense as our middle. She’s done a good job there,” Trego said. “Allison Guckes, Rachelle Maurer and Denise Schwartz have really been passing the ball well, which has sparked our offense lately.”
Also for Botkins, Jocelyn Counts had 18 assists.
For W-G, Taylor Van Horn had eight assists, five blocks and seven digs and Abbie Van Horn added five blocks, three kills and one ace and Alicia Kessler tallied four blocks and three kills.
Klima said Sierra Williams had a good day Saturday because she moved her feet well.
Saturday’s win was Botkins’ second straight after a loss in the season opener.
Trego described what has changed since the loss.
“Our passing has gotten cleaned up. The girls have been passing the ball well and cleaning up serve-receive,” Trego said. “I also never felt like we were in control of the match. The last two matches I felt we were in control. We’ve passed the ball well and ran our offense.”
Trego outlined what area his team needs to improve most moving forward.
“It seems like we still have some ruts where we give some points away,” Trego said. “Sometimes teams will earn it but also there’s times when we help them along.”
Klima described her team’s biggest struggles through two matches this season and how they can be improved.
“We are struggling with communication and teamwork,” Klima said. “Improving them will just help us become a more efficient team overall. Everyone would know what’s going on.”
Saturday’s win put Botkins at 2-1 overall this season.
W-G dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
Botkins will return to action today with a home match against New Bremen at 5:30 p.m.
The Tigers will face Delphos Jefferson in a non-league road match tonight at 7 p.m.
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