SYRACUSE – It is hard to keep any secrets in a high school. Word travels fast and pretty soon gossip between two people quickly becomes common knowledge. At Wawasee High School people have been talking and the word is out about the Lady Warrior volleyball team: It’s really good.
Manchester was the most recent team to get the word on just how good this Wawasee team is as the Lady Warriors swept the Lady Squires 25-15, 25-13, 25-21 Tuesday night in Syracuse.
Wawasee struggled early in the first game but was lifted by Alli Ousley. The first time the junior stepped up to serve on the night Wawasee scored six straight points to take a 13-8 lead. Manchester never really threatened in the first game after the run. Ousley would prove to be a constant pain for the Squires all night as she finished the game leading Wawasee with 14 assists, six kills and three aces.
The Lady Squires showed some signs of life at the beginning of the second game but again failed to keep the momentum going and let Wawasee take control. Manchester head coach Rebekah Brown was not sure where to start with what went wrong for her team.
“We are still learning,” stated Brown. “We really need to improve our communication on the court. That is one of the areas that really hurt us tonight.”
Communication proved to be an issue most of the night as several mental miscues cost Brown’s team any chance at keeping up with Wawasee in the first two games.
Perhaps the best start Wawasee had all night was in the third game. The home team easily jumped out to a 10-4 lead but watched it slowly shrink. Manchester closed the gap at 11-10 and put Wawasee under pressure several times before the Lady Warriors finally closed out a well-earned sweep.
With Manchester (1-8) out of the way and the Northern Lakes Conference slate right around the corner, Lady Warrior head coach Jeff Phillips is making sure his team is prepared for what lies ahead.
“I want the girls to be happy about where they are right now but they also need to know that our next goals start on Thursday,” began Phillips. “Plymouth is our most important match of the year at this point. How we come out and play is going to set the tone for the rest of our season.
“Are we going to compete in the NLC or are we going to let this record dwindle away? That is the question we have to answer in our next match.”
The answer to that question will come soon enough as Wawasee (9-1) travels to Plymouth on Thursday night with the varsity match set for approximately 7 p.m.
In the junior varsity match, the Wawasee JV rebounded from an ugly loss to Bethany Christian with a 17-25, 25-24, 15-4 victory over the Manchester JV. Sophomore Tia Long led the Lady Warrior JV with 10 digs, nine assists and three aces.