PERRY TOWNSHIP — With the high school volleyball season two weeks in, coaches are looking to find consistency in their teams’ performances.
Tuesday night inside Leonard V. Volbert Gymnasium at Perry High School, the Jefferson Lady Wildcats at the Perry Lady Commodores were trying to do just that for their respective coaches.
The Lady Wildcats and first-year head coach Jaclyn Smith proved to be ahead of their counterparts, sweeping their foe by the scores of 25-23, 27-25, 25-18 in a non-league battle.
“We have two seniors on this team and we rely on a couple of sophomores and a freshman on the varsity; the future looks bright for us,” Smith said. “We came into the season trying to accomplish three things: the first is maintaining a positive mindset. That is something that apparently that we have struggled with as a program in the past. The other two are to learn the game of volleyball and to have fun. We have the makings of a nice team once we get the experience and we seem to have a good rotation at this point.”
Perry head coach Gina Shively is simply waiting for her team to gell together as a unit.
“We’re inconsistent. We do a good thing in one set and then the next, it becomes a weakness,” Shivley said. “We started out tonight attacking the ball and communicating well and then we stopped doing that as the match wore on. We started out playing the way we wanted and then it got away from us. These girls are working hard and I feel it’s a matter of time before they get on the same page. We have four seniors and six letterwinners, so it’s there.”
In the opener, there wasn’t much that distinguished the teams. The entire way, the biggest lead by either team was four - the Wildcats at 6-2 – and from then on, the set tightened until the very end. With the less experienced Wildcats being led by the likes of Courtney Teman and the Lady Commodores by the likes of junior Tia Barfield, the opener came down to the home stretch at 23-23. It was then that Teman registered a kill to give the Wildcats the match’s first set point and when the Commodores hit the ball into the net, the Wildcats led 1-0 in sets.
The second set was very similar. The Wildcats had the biggest lead at 18-13 on a kill by Teman but before that, it was point for point. After the Wildcats took that 5-point edge, the Commodores battled back to take a 22-19 lead on a kill by 5-11 senior Aniya Simpson. In fact she led them the entire set and came close to tying the match at a set each. Once more, in the end, the Wildcats had the finishing touch. After Jayla Rostorfer put down a kill to tie the set at 25-25, a pair of Perry hitting errors gave the Wildcats a 2-sets-to-none lead.
Four straight hitting errors to open the third set put the Commodores behind the 8-ball early and they could never dig out of the deficit. Perry would not go away quietly but neither would the Lady Wildcats let them tie the set from then on. The Wildcats proved to be that much more consistent in the end, building up as much as a 21-14 lead before closing out the sweep with a net violation on the Commodores to finish the sweep.
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