The Cardington volleyball team didn’t waste much time in claiming a sectional championship on Saturday.
The Pirates hosted West Jefferson for an afternoon match and defeated their opponents in straight sets by scores of 25-8, 25-14 and 25-12. Head coach Ryan Treese said he decided to take a bye in the first round in order to use that time to prepare for matches down the road.
“We took the bye for a reason,” he said. “We got a good competition against Mohawk on Monday. We got five sets in against Mohawk and I think it helped us prepare instead of playing a first-round game. And the first set proved that we were ready.”
The Pirates dominated that first set to set the tone for the rest of the match. After falling in an early 2-0 hole, the team got a defensive point and three serves for scores from Cadie Long to take a lead they would not relinquish. After one point by Jadine Mills and two from Audrey Brininger, the team got three from Abby Ufferman to hold a 13-5 lead.
Three points from Payton Goodman and six straight by Long would stake the team to a 1-0 lead in the match. Treese felt his team was strong at the net in the match, which played a big role in their performance.
“Audrey had 10 kills in the first set and other people had kills, too, in the first set,” he said. “It wasn’t like it was only Audrey. When we’re efficient at the net and when we’re efficient passing, we’re really good.”
The team also led throughout the entirety of the second set. Goodman scored the first two points and the team gradually added to their advantage. Madison Linkous scored four points in the second and Mills tallied three, while Lily Clark and Ari Simpson both scored two.
West Jefferson took an early lead in the third set, but it would not last for long. After a defensive point by the Pirates knotted the score at 2-2, they got five points by Mills, six from Brininger and two from Rylee Donkin to jump in front 17-5 on their way to a 3-0 sweep of the Roughriders.
Treese was pleased with his team’s overall performance, feeling it was just what they needed on their way to attempting to defend their district championship from last year.
“I think this was probably the most dominant we have been,” he said. “Have we played better teams? Yes, but I think today we actually did our job. In the second set, we subbed a lot more than normal. In the third set, we subbed a lot more than normal, but we did what we’re supposed to do and we didn’t just get by.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS