Senior Carly Sammons spikes the ball against two Sidney defenders in a match Monday evening. Wapakoneta won 3 sets to 0. Staff photo/Thomas Bradley
The Wapakoneta Redskins opened their volleyball season with a 3-0 win against Sidney Monday night.
Winning the first three sets 25-14, 25-15, 25-18, Varsity head coach Keith Rambin said he was pleased with the way his team played.
“First game of the seaon, you never know what’s in store for the first game of the season,” Rambin said. “I was a little worried about Sidney because I know they had been improving, and they got a new volleyball player this year. I was a little worried.”
But the Redskins came out and breezed through the first two sets of the match, and leading by two they found themselves trailing by six points.
“In that third set, at one point in time, the score was 17-11, (in favor of Sidney), things were looking a little grim, I called a timeout and I just told the girls, ‘The problem with staying in this funk, is if you stay in it too long you are going to force a fourth game, and inevitably, that funk will carry over to the fourth game,’” Rambin said. “You just got to focus on two points at a time, and before you know it, it was 18-18.”
After that comeback, the Redskins cruised to the finish to make the match official. Wapakoneta is 1-0 on the season.
In that third set, Rambin relied heavily on his seniors to step up and show what they were made of. On the service line down 11-17, senior Nicole Brown stepped up and set the time with several great serves to put the Redskins back in it, in the third set.
“This is Nicole (Brown’s) third year. She is a three-year varsity letter winner and a two-year captain. That kind of stuff is kind of what coaches expect out of their captains and senior players. She stepped up huge when we needed it most,” Rambin said.
Rambin said he wasn’t sure how his squad would play, given that it is the first match of the year.
“I just wasn’t sure who was going to show up tonight, first game,” Rambin said.
He said several key graduations put a couple of question marks on Monday’s opener.
“We graduated a couple district 8 all-stars last year. We filled in pretty much five new spots this year,” Rambin said. “Three new offensive players and two new defensive players.”
Rambin, although apprehensive about exactly how they would play in their first game, said the girls had a good summer and fall practice regimen, and he felt prepared for the season.
“We had a pretty good summer, early fall as far as practices, scrimmages, but you never know how it’s going to come together on the court,” Rambin said.
Leading in assists for Wapakoneta was Brown with 35 assists. Megan Hayzlett recorded 13 kills, and Amber Dickerson had 18 digs and six aces.
The Redskins continue their season with a home match against Elida on Thursday.
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