Warsaw looked to keep its perfect conference record intact and the ladies did not disappoint sweeping all three games from the host Lady Warriors 25-23, 25-8 and 25-21.
In an interview last week, Wawasee head coach Jeff Phillips said that his team’s goal against Warsaw was simple, “We have to make them earn every point.” He must have got his message across to his team before tonight’s match as the Lady Tigers were given all they could handle in the first game from its rivals.Wawasee jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and let Warsaw know that this was not going to be an easy game. The Lady Tigers responded as they have all season, reclaiming the lead and not giving it back for the remainder of the game. Wawasee kept it close, not letting Warsaw get a lead of more than four but could not hold off its rival long enough to steal a win.
After getting a scare from Wawasee in the first game, Warsaw showed the fans in attendance why its name is on top on the NLC standings at 5-0. The Lady Tigers jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back.
Phillips seemed less than surprised by Warsaw’s second game performance and tipped his cap to his Warsaw counterpart, Mike Howard, “If you play a good first game like we did and push their number one lineup, Mike’s going to make enough adjustments and throw some things at us that we haven’t seen before.”
Wawasee came out firing in the third game and jumped out to another 3-0 lead but saw that quickly disappear once Warsaw started clicking again. The Lady Tigers looked to have the game in control with a 21-13 lead but Wawasee made one last push, pushing it to 21-24 before Warsaw stopped the comeback attempt with a kill to seal the sweep of all three games.
“We knew they were going to play good defense and force us to beat them,” Howard continued after the game. “They missed some serves and that probably helped us out a little.”
Wawasee did miss some serves, a total of eight on the night. But even with the points Wawasee did give up, Warsaw played its game and showed why they are still one of the top teams in the region.
“That’s what we tried to do tonight, just play steady and other than kind of a slow start, we did that,” Howard said.Warsaw improves to 14-3 overall but will be tested if it wants to remain perfect in the NLC, finishing its conference slate with also undefeated NorthWood, which were 4-0 heading into Thursday’s matchup with Northridge, and concluding with rival Concord in early October.
Leading the way for Warsaw was Jamie Lacheta, who had 18 kills, 14 digs and a pair of aces. Katie Voelz added 12 kills and three blocks and setter Chloe Hubner set up 35 points and had a pair of aces.
On the stat sheet for Wawasee, sophomore Alli Ousley had a pair of aces and also inked 11 assists. Senior Kaitlin Goines led the team with six kills, Hunter Gaerte had 10 digs and added four kills. Senior Anne Beer had her name all over the stat sheet with eight digs, three kills and multiple blocks.
In the junior varsity game, Warsaw remained undefeated against conference teams by sweeping Lady Warriors in two games, 25-12 and 25-14.
Wawasee falls to 15-8 and 1-4 in conference play. Both teams will play in tournaments this weekend. The Lady Warriors will travel to Crown Point High School for the school’s annual invitational and the Lady Tigers will host its annual Tiger Invitational at Warsaw Community High School. Both tournaments start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.