Cardington got off to a fast start at Mount Gilead Tuesday in a KMAC volleyball match and never looked back in claiming a 25-8, 25-9, 25-14 win.
Maci Morgan opened the match with nine straight points on her serve to stake the Pirates to a commanding lead. Paige Clinger then added four more to make the score 14-1. While Jessica Brewer scored once and Maddie Mathwig added a pair of points, MG could only get within an 18-7 margin before Cardington got two points from Kayleigh Ufferman and three from Gabby Snodgrass to take the first set.
“This is where our serving paid off,” said Pirate coach Ryan Treese. “We did a good job in the first set. That led to girls getting in who don’t usually get in in the first set. We had two freshmen in in the first set. In case we need them, they’re there.”
The Pirates got off to another fast start in the second set, Kirsten Bonnette opened with four points before Clinger scored three and Kyleigh Bonnette added one to give their team an 11-2 lead they would not relinquish in going up 2-0 in the match.
Treese noted that when his team opens up a lead on an opponent, the challenge is to maintain that advantage for the rest of the set.
“Our goal is when a team calls its first time out, if we’re up 8-0, we want to win by eight,” he said. “Keep that eight-point lead and never go below it.”
Five points by Morgan staked the Pirates to another early lead in the third game. MG would attempt a comeback, as trailing 14-7, they got a defensive point, a point from Molly Murphy and three from Brewer to close within a 16-13 margin.
Cardington would bounce back to get a defensive stop and a point from Kyleigh Bonnette to take a five-point lead. Then, with the score 19-14, they got six straight from Hannah Wickline to finish off their win.
“I’m new to Cardington, but Mount Gilead’s still our rival no matter what the records are,” said Treese. “We have a four-game stretch to build confidence going into matches with the top three teams in the league.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS