WARRENTON – The serving strength of the Warrenton volleyball team was evident Monday, as it quickly dispatched county rival Wright City in a three-set sweep (25-6, 25-13, 25-14).
Coach Randy Kindschuh said the Warriors have been emphasizing that foundational part of their game. And it showed as Warrenton raced out to a 14-0 advantage on Abby Hammerberg’s massive serve run.
“We stress serving and serve a lot during practice,” said Kindschuh. “I’m giving zones for each kid to hit, and we’re good at it. We can hit the zones and will probably break our team record in ace serves this year, because we’re on a pretty good pace right now.”
Wright City struggled to get on the board during the opening set, never climbing closer than to within 14.
Kindschuh says the Warriors have been focused on taking advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses while leaning on their own strengths.
“Offensively we’re still not quite where I’d like us to be,” said Kindschuh. “Our middles are starting to get a little more involved. Until they do, we’ve got to score more on our serve or get them out of system so we get free balls.”
Wright City was able to remain more competitive during the final two sets, matching the Warriors’ scoring more frequently. Coach Christine Klem felt her team was able to respond after being overwhelmed during the first match.
“I think they did a lot better job in the second and third sets being confident and aggressive with their passes,” said Klem. “I think they finally got into that rhythm. Our girls know how to pass and get it to the setter, and we started doing that more. We got our offense working better and were more accurate.”
Warrenton brought a tremendous amount of momentum into the game after going 5-0-1 to claim the Cuba Tournament title just two days earlier.
“It was important to get off to a fast start,” said Kindschuh. “If the other team is making errors, we don’t feel sorry. We go after them. If they put someone in off the bench, we go after that person, because they haven’t been out there.”
Morgan Frye paced the Warriors with 11 kills with sophomores Olivia Morgan and Ella Smith adding four apiece. Hammerberg finished with six aces and added 17 assists setting.
Wright City prevented Warrenton from separating itself as quickly in the second set, pulling to within 18-11 and 20-13. During the third set the Wildcats were also able to keep the margin between seven and eight points until later in the match. Junior Reagan Charlesworth had nine service points, an ace, three blocks and seven kills for the ’Cats, who won two of three matches at the Orchard Farm Tournament last weekend.
The Warriors kept the ball rolling after their Wright City triumph, taking to the road Tuesday and knocking off GAC North Rival Winfield in straight sets 25-20, 26-24.
Frye had 11 kills, Hammerberg 18 assists and Josey Schipper had seven points and three aces to lead Warrenton, who improved to 9-3-1 overall and finished an even 2-2 during the first stretch of conference action.
Warrenton and Wright City could potentially meet again this Saturday, as the Warriors host the first annual Megan Gross Tournament. Wright City will return to Warrenton as one of eight teams competing in the event.
“Warrenton has a lot of great hitters, and we would like to work on ours getting stronger as well,” said Klem. “I was really pleased with our serving and we had a lot of consistency with that. Hopefully we can work out some kinks in our rotation to get strong hits off the nets more often.”