After committing a bevy of uncharacteristic errors throughout the match, the Lady Griffins ended up being just another victim in the Lady Spartans' impressive 12-match winning streak.
Dutchtown came into Thursday night’s district matchup with East Ascension playing their best volleyball of the season. It made them optimistic that they would pull off the big road win.
But after committing a bevy of uncharacteristic errors throughout the match, the Lady Griffins ended up being just another victim in the Lady Spartans’ impressive 12-match winning streak.
"Our ball control tonight wasn't very good,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Ricks said. “I think East Ascension did just enough to let us beat ourselves. We know they've got great hitters, and they've had a tremendous year so far. I would believe that Coach Jamie would say they didn't play their best match, and I know we didn't play ours.
“We made a ton of mistakes that we haven't made for the last five or six matches. So, it was frustrating to see us play that way. I really thought this was going to be a really exciting and well-played match, but I felt that it was sloppy all the way around."
Not only did East Ascension win the match, but they did it with ease—winning in straight sets by scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-18.
"We kept Dutchtown off-balanced. We kept their big hitters, Lauren (Launey) and Zoe (Wooten), from getting a lot of swings, and I think that was huge,” Lady Spartan head coach Jamie Gilmore said.
The match began like the back-and-forth thriller you would have expected.
Midway through the first set, the teams were deadlocked at 13-13, but that’s when Dutchtown began making mistakes, and East Ascension took full advantage.
The Lady Spartans reeled off a 9-0 run to take a 22-13 lead. Many of those points were scored on the serve of Meagan Ross.
Diamond Jones hammered down a big spike that helped East Ascension close out the 25-17 victory.
The momentum carried over to the second set as the Lady Spartans raced out to a 10-5 lead.
Though Dutchtown went on a 6-1 flurry to tie things, East Ascension eventually went back on top, 21-16. From there, they closed out a 25-18 victory to go up 2-0.
In the third set, the Lady Griffins never really had a chance. They started in a 12-4 hole.
They were able to slightly chip away at the deficit, but the Lady Spartans eventually closed out the match with another 25-18 win.
"Every win is a good win, but this is a big win. Dutchtown is a really good team. They've been playing well, but we have another round to go, so we'll see what happens,” Gilmore said.
Dutchtown was 2-0 in district coming into the night and had won six of their previous eight matches.
"We have to come out and play the way we're capable of playing and cut down on errors,” Ricks said. “When you play against a team like East Ascension--who I think is going to go really, really far this year--you can't beat yourself, and I feel like we made a ton of mistakes, and they didn't have to work quite as hard.”
As for East Ascension, the victory pushed them to a perfect 4-0 in league play, and it was their 21st victory in their last 22 matches.
Coach Glimore is happy with their play, but she said that they still have a long way to go.
Gilmore said, “It's good, but the toughest thing is to keep this momentum. The biggest thing is figuring out how to keep it and how to fight to stay where we're at."