SYRACUSE — Wawasee did not roll over in its match with Warsaw, but there was no doubt as to which team was the superior one in Thursday’s Northern Lakes Conference tilt The visiting Tigers swept Wawasee 3-0 to move to 4-1 in conference play.
After an ugly showing at Whitko on Monday, the Warriors had overall improved play, but were simply no match for the well-oiled machine that is Warsaw volleyball.
We moved well tonight,” said Warsaw coach Rick Ashmore. “That’s a thing we’ve been working on. I thought our blocking looked a lot better, we’ve been working on that as well. Obviously they (Wawasee) don’t have the hitters we do, but they did a good job at keeping the ball in play and making us play our game. That was good for them and god for us.”
Warsaw did earn the overwhelming majority of its points and did not benefit from many errors on Wawasee’s side of the net, but the Tigers were never really pushed on the scoreboard. The visitors took a 25-13 win in the first set and rolled that into a 25-10 win in the second. Wawasee picked up its first lead of the night in the third set but Warsaw eventually found its groove there as well en route to a 25-9 win.
“Warsaw is one of the top schools in this conference in terms of its overall program,” began Wawasee coach Kayla Riportella. “They brought that with them. They lived up to that expectation tonight. They played their game and ran an very impressive offense. Honestly, that’s just a very impressive opponent.
“My girls did bring the energy that we were lacking against Whitko, but it still wasn’t enough. But not backing down and keeping our heads up is an accomplishment. We will look for any victory we can get at this point. We’re trying to get that positive energy and mentality. We brought that today and stayed up for the entire match. That’s a good thing to take from this match.”
With Warsaw’s win the Tigers now stand at 13-10 overall and have been playing good volleyball a of late as the regular season nears its end. Is it safe to say Warsaw is peaking at the cliché right time of year?
“We all hope that, don’t we,” Ashmore said with a laugh. “We’ve got a big tournament this weekend, so we’ll find out. LaPorte is coming in, Rochester, Snider, Muncie Burris. We’ll be tested. We’ve had a tough schedule and been on the road a lot. This tournament will be a big test at home.”
Nikki Parrett led Warsaw with 13 kills and six aces. Erin Peugh led the team with 19 digs. Kacy Bragg had 33 assists and one block. Rachel Yeager also recorded a block.
Wawasee was led statistically by Madi Wilson’s seven digs. Seaquinn Bright and Liz Hardy tied for the team lead with two kills a piece.
Wawasee travels to play in the Crown Point Tournament this weekend while Warsaw hosts it annual invite.
Warsaw’s JV team did not have as easy of a night but still left with a 2-0 win after escaping Wawasee 25-22, 25-20 to move to 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the NLC on the year. Gwen Bellamy led the JV Tigers with five kills, while Alicia Sikora and Kenzie Welk each had four. Courtney Chookie had three aces and nine digs. Sikora had seven digs and 16 assists and a block. McKenna Hawblitzel added three aces and five digs for the winners.
The Warsaw freshman beat both Plymouth 25-21, 18-25, 15-10 and Wawasee 25-11, 25-15 to improve to 22-0 overall and 5-0 in the NLC. Brooklyn Slone led the undefeated frosh Tigers with 11 kills, while Kaia Hummitch, Reagan Roulo and Sophia Long each had seven. Katie Schmidt had 14 aces to go with 10 digs and 42 assists in the pair of wins. Slone had 16 digs and Sierra Derossett 11, while Long and Hummitch each had three blocks.