By Isabella Rivera and Kevin Perez
In a match of last year’s district volleyball finalists, the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave swept the visiting Bradford Tornadoes 3-0 on Thursday night.
The Blue Wave improved to 7-6, while the Tornadoes dropped to 3-6.
Early PKY Domination
P.K. Yonge started off the first set with momentum. It grabbed the first three points with back-to-back hits by outside hitter Autumn James (kill and tip).
The teams reached a tie early at 3-3, but P.K. Yonge took back the set with another back-to-back kill and tip by James.
“Let’s go Blue Wave!” chants from the home crowd gave P.K. Yonge just what it needed to take the lead and never look back. Powerful rallies helped it remain ahead for the rest of the first set in the 25-18 win.
P.K. Yonge’s coach Enrique Wiseman was ready for a win.
“We are definitely prepared to play against anybody,” Wiseman said. “This is a familiar opponent … . So, there wasn’t really a lot of motivating we had to do to come into this game.”
Keeping the momentum
The momentum served P.K. Yonge well as it headed into the second set. The Blue Wave started it with seven straight points.
“This is a game of momentum,” Wiseman said. “Any team can respond at any moment during the game.”
Summer Mandrell served an ace to begin the set. Later on, a third Mandrell ace made the score 7-0 and forced a timeout by Bradford.
Positive energy radiated from the Blue Wave’s huddle as they prepared to take the second set.
The Tornadoes didn’t stand a chance with P.K. Yonge dominating. Kill after kill, rally after rally, the Blue Wave just kept stacking up points.
P.K. Yonge won four straight points, three of which were aces by libero Taylor Ellis, late in the set to get to 24. A final kill by Jorryn Dye gave Blue Wave the second set, 25-12.
After taking the first set, P.K. Yonge VR jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the second set and never looked back, taking the second set 25-12. The Blue Wave lead 2-0 vs the Tornadoes. pic.twitter.com/wfyxqQBqlk
— Kevin Perez (@kevinp305) September 22, 2023
Securing the Win
By the time the third set rolled around, it was clear P.K. Yonge wanted this win and were willing to play hard for it. It began the third set a bit rocky, falling behind by a couple points and staying down for a majority of the set.
James, Holdyn Moore and senior setter Trinity Jacobs got some strong set-and-kills to keep the set going for PKY. However, the team was struggling to keep up and push back into the lead. They were able to tie at 17 points, again at 18 and once more at 20 points each after back-to-back kills by James. The teams took a timeout.
Wiseman took this time to remind his team who it is.
“We know we’re the better team on our side of the net,” Wiseman said. “We just needed to relax, to get rid of some of the unforced errors and we knew we would handle them.”
Meanwhile, Bradford strategized how to win this third set, but to no avail.
The teams tied once more at 21 points each. But, after yet another successful kill from James, Wiseman’s words sunk in. The Blue Wave knew what they had to do.
One more kill from James and an ace from Jacobs was just what the Blue Wave needed to secure the set, 25-22, and sweep the Tornadoes.
“We knew we wanted to play our best,” Wiseman said. “We knew this was one that we needed to change, kinda shift our season into the right direction.”