The SCCS varsity volleyball team launched its 2014 season with an emphatic 3-1 win over Vasquez High (Acton) Thursday. In front of a raucous crowd inside the Cardinal gymnasium, the Cardinals captured the first two games on their way to a 25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19 victory.
Junior outside hitter Kylie Brown, the 2013 Heritage League Player of the Year, led the Cardinals (1-0) with 17 kills while adding seven digs. Fellow junior Jessi McCarty made her varsity debut count, collecting seven kills to help pace the SCCS attack. Senior Abigail Walker patrolled the net all match, finishing with a team-high five blocks.
Tiffany Shroyer shrugged off sickness to notch a team-high 10 digs. The senior rolled her ankle in the third game, but stayed on the floor and provided a stable service-return presence for the duration.
The Cardinals looked every bit like the defending league champions early on, despite struggling somewhat with their service game. SCCS overcame 10 missed serves in the opening two games to seize a 2-0 lead.
The team appeared headed for a sweep when it took a 13-9 lead in Game 3, but following a timeout, the Mustangs rallied to grab a 15-13 advantage. The teams battled back and forth to a 21-21 tie before Vasquez pulled away.
SCCS had to come from behind in Game 4. The team trailed 8-11 before catching Vasquez at 13-13 on its way to the win.
Beth Hovey helped anchor the team with a solid service game all match. The senior hit 11 serves in, including three aces. Gracie Gwinn also served well, hitting 10 serves in and collecting four aces.
JV Notes – Comeback falls just short for Lady Cardinals
The Cardinals’ junior varsity squad lost its season-opening match to Vasquez, 2-0 on Thursday, but the girls learned something about themselves in the process. They learned they are capable of mounting a comeback.
After falling 17-25 to the Mustangs in Game 1 and trailing 15-24 in Game 2, SCCS fought its way back into contention. The team eliminated the first-game mistakes of missed serves and rotation violations and slowly, methodically closed the gap.
At 19-24, Vasquez called its first timeout of the match. At 23-24, it was forced to call another before closing out the game (and the match) at 23-25.