After having not played a match since Thursday, Sept. 16, due to being under quarantine, the Cardington volleyball team finally got back on the court Tuesday against visiting Danville.
The Pirates were able to make their first match back a win, as they took the Blue Devils in three sets by scores of 25-13, 25-16 and 25-20. While head coach Ryan Treese felt his team did look a bit rusty after such a long lay-off, he was pleased with the team’s energy.
“We got lucky,” he said. “It (the quarantine) got extended by one day, so we had a day of practice. We knew it would be tough coming off the Northmor loss. I thought our energy was one of the best we’ve had. Was it the cleanest? No, but that was because of the 12 days off.”
Cardington was able to control the action in the first set. With the score tied at two, the team got four straight points by Audrey Brininger to jump out in front. Two points by Maggie Wade and three from Madison Linkous extended that advantage to a 15-7 margin and the team wouldn’t look back. Leading 17-9, they got three from Brininger and two from Jadine Mills to take a commanding lead late in the set.
They would get out to a slower start in the second game, but were able to put together another nice run to pull away. With the score tied at eight apiece, the Pirates got three points from both Wade and Linkous and two from Olivia Holt to turn that tie into an 18-13 lead. Then, with the score 20-15, they got four in a row by Mills on their way to moving in front by a 2-0 margin.
Cardington faced their most adversity in claiming the third set to earn the 3-0 win. Danville got out to a fast start and held a 6-1 lead in the early points of the game, but the Pirates were able to gradually battle back. One point by Brininger and two from Mills helped them get within a 7-6 count and with the score 10-8 in favor of the Blue Devils, they would explode, getting four points Wade and three more by Linkous to open up a 16-11 advantage.
While Danville would keep the score close, they would not be able to catch Cardington. With the score 21-17, they got two points from Wade and holding game point at 24-19, Linkous scored on her serve to end the match.
“Getting a 3-0 win was big,” said Treese. “There were moments we were better than what we had been doing, but also moments where there was a lack of communication that we have to clean up.”
Now, due to a combination of their quarantine period and those endured by a couple other KMAC opponents, Treese’s team will be very busy over the next couple weeks. The Tuesday match with Danville opened a period where the Pirates expect to play 11 matches over a 16-day period. The coach noted that one challenge will be working through any potential adversity without having practice time to work on things.
“We have to let tonight go,” he said. “Being 14 deep and getting into situations where we can switch it up and get everyone those reps because we won’t have practice.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS