Spartans Sweep Wolves 3-0 in the Wolfden

On Wednesday evening, the St. John’s Country Day Spartans (14-4) made the hour and a half trek from Orange Park to Gainesville to play the St. Francis Catholic Academy Wolves (6-12) in a rematch of women’s volleyball. The last time these teams met up the Spartans swept the Wolves in three straight sets and that is exactly what happened again in Wednesday’s matchup.

This loss adds to the Wolves’ now five-game losing streak. The team seems to be having a hard time putting up a set against their opponents. Out of the 12 losses, they have only been able to win five sets. After Thursday’s matchup against rivals Oak Hall, the Wolves will need to work on their mistakes before facing the Spartans again in the first round of playoffs.

Rocky First Set for the Wolves

As the set started to play out, neither team tried to grab hold of an early lead. The points went back and forth. As one team scored, so did the other. It was like watching a game of tennis, your head just moved back and forth.

Giving the Spartans leverage, the Wolves’ stepped out of rotation which caused them to lose possession of the ball. Head Coach Taylor Wright argued with the referees on the rotation but still could not get the ruling overturned. At this point of the game is where the Wolves started miscommunication and making errors.

The tension in the Wolfden was pretty high due to the Spartans pulling away with a small 12-9 lead. Just when St. Francis started to drop their heads, sophomore outside hitter Kenzie Moran viciously attacked the ball and caused the bleachers, the bench and the team on the court to go wild. Wright gave Moran chef’s kisses because of the beautiful kill. Moran from that point on in the game was a key player for the Wolves.

Throughout the set, the Wolves struggled to make clean plays. St. John’s sent line drives down the court and the Wolves were unable to stop them without shanking the ball. Shanking was not the only problem the Wolves were facing. Getting the third pass over was a big reason St. John’s took a 19-11 lead into the first timeout. The Wolves tried to recover bad first passes by setting up a hitter on the third, but either the ball went straight into the net or went out of bounds.

Not giving up any of the pressure, the Spartans powerfully sent a serve over causing the Wolves to not make a proper play at match point. The Spartans won the first set 25-19.

Spartans Rough Second Set

Quickly starting out the second set strong, the Spartans slammed balls down the court left and right. They pulled away with an early 6-3 lead.

The Wolves started getting used to the way Spartans played and fixed their miscommunication for the most part. Unlike the first set, they set up their hitters to make perfect plays that helped them get closer to taking the lead. Sophomore Brinda DeAngelis, another star player of the game, made a name for herself by sending a kill soaring down the court making it a closer score of 8-6.

After a long rally of passes over the net or the ball being blocked, Moran shut it down by tipping the ball and watching the Spartans scrabble to try and create a play from it. After that the score was 14-9 in favor of the Spartans, this was the last time during this set that the score was relatively close.

Leading up to the timeout, the Wolves struggled with giving up points by crossing the line when serving or going under the net. At the timeout, the score was 19-11.

The Spartans put away the second set with a score of 25-12.

Tough Final Set Resulting in a Loss for the Wolves

While the teams huddled up to talk about the previous set and what they needed to be done during the third set, the St. Francis parents were holding up paw prints with players’ names on them to get their players more hyped up.

This encouragement did help the Wolves because they went straight into the third set grabbing a hold of the lead for as long as they could.

It did not take long for the Spartans to get back into their groove and take back the lead and go into the time out winning 11-4. However, the Wolves put all their effort into making good plays that even though they were trailing they kept their heads up. At one point in the third set, the Spartans sent the ball flying into the back of the court where no Wolves player was covering which you would think the Spartans would get the point, but they did not. While one referee was watching the ball, the other was watching the Spartans player go under the net which made them lose possession of the ball and gave a point to St. Francis, 12-6.

This set the Wolves dominated in serving. Junior Izzy Rosado served an ace and her parents’ reaction was amazing. They were throwing up the paw print in the air and started chanting her name. DeAngelis also helped the Wolves rack up 3 points from serving to make the score 20-14.

Even though the third set did not go the Wolves hoped for, they collected the points they needed to make the Spartans lead a bit smaller. At match point, St. John’s Country Day served the ball to where no one covered and a Wolves’ player tried to recover it, but it did not work out in their favor. The Spartans won the third set 25- 18.

About Molly Cooper

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