The Southwestern Warriors Volleyball team dominated in their home opener last night against the Lincoln County Patriots with a victory in two very lopsided sets.
"I thought that our ball control was really the key to the whole game," said Southwestern head coach Melissa Gaunce. "We were digging up balls left and right and we have so much offense everywhere on our court this year, outside, middles, right side, back row attacks. If we can just keep the ball in play, we give ourselves opportunities to score. When we're doing that, I told the girls, when our ball control is like it is tonight, then they're going to be very hard to stop."
Indeed, the Warriors were hard to stop. Throughout the night, they consistently set each other up for big hits, racked up kills, and forced a ton of Patriot errors with strong shots.
Senior Payton Brock led the charge for Southwestern with 7 kills, 8 assists, 1 dig, and 1 ace. All game she took shots with authority to earn 7 kills and forced a lot of Lincoln mistakes. Not only were her hits strong, but she also set her teammates up for good hits as well.
Right off the bat in the first set, the Warriors were nailing the ball to court. Junior Emmie Vanover smashed down a kill for the first point, followed by an ace by senior Maddy Foster.
The Warriors were able to open with a 12-3 run and stay far ahead of the Patriots for the whole first set. Brock, Vanover, Katie Shaw, and Avery Rose all had kills in the set.
Foster and Leah Hollis both had aces in the first as well, and Southwestern took the first set 25-14.
Foster added two more aces at the start of the second set to help her Warriors to a 10-1 run right out of the gate. During this run Brock and Vanover each had kills as well.
Brock took control of the second set with multiple kills, assists and an ace midway through the second.
Late in the set, Rose had back to back kills, followed by kills by Brock and Kylee Tucker. Then Rose got back to back aces to end the set 25-10 and help the Warriors to their first home victory.
"We have some big hitters this year," said coach Gaunce. "We have seniors on the court that are able to, right now, stay on the court every rotation. I think that that brings a lot to our game because it always means a lot to a senior."
There is no doubt that this is an experienced, and very strong offensive team that could do some damage in the 12th region and beyond.
The Southwestern Warriors advance to 2-0 on the season and will be back in action Tuesday night where they will face of with the Rockcastle Rockets at home.