After a less than stellar performance in a three-set sweep of Rossford the night before, Evergreen picked up their game in a 25-19, 25-7, 25- 19 sweep of the Wauseon Indians to go to 17-1 on the season and remain unbeaten in the NWOAL at 6-0 Tuesday night.
“We had quite a few hitting errors in the first set at the end but for the most part we played pretty well,” victorious Viking coach Kelsey Wulf explained. “Our biggest problem throughout the season is getting a big lead and then letting people get back into the match a little bit. We just have to keep our intensity for the entire set of 25 points.”
That analogy was evident in the first set when the Vikings raced out to a large lead.
Eden Eisel scored on a left side blast and a tip to open the set before Amy Bosell’s shot and a Viking hitting error knotted the score.
Haili Mossing’s block kill, Megan Floyd’s ace, two more kills from Mossing and Kaela Fauble’s left side shot off a Wauseon blocker boosted the Vikings back into a 9-4 lead.
Freshman Lexi Sauber answered with a tip for the Indians but Evergreen responded with a 7-0 run keyed by Mossing’s right side shot and the senior hitter’s three straight aces.
“Really what hurt us the most was serve receive tonight,” said Wauseon coach Bill Blanchong. “They scored too many points in a row on us with a couple of their servers, and with aces as well. At this level you have to be able to side out.”
Eisel’s rip again through a Wauseon block upped the Evergreen lead to 19-8, but just that quick that myriad of hitting errors allowed the Indians back into contact.
Eisel and Mossing each had a pair of kills and Fauble scored on a dunk at the net but in between the Vikings committed 10 errors on attacks as the Indians got within 24-19 before Floyd’s attack rolled over the net for the set ending point.
The Vikings responded in a vicious way in the second set, jumping out to a 7-0 lead.
Eisel had a trifecta of kills, Floyd two more and Alyssa Noe’s ace fueled that run before Bosell’s left side swing put the Indians on the board.
The teams alternated points until it was 11-5, before the Vikings pounded out 14 of the next 16 points in the set, keyed by their speedy back row.
“You can say that again!” Wulf exclaimed. “Rachael Noe doesn’t run track anymore but she’s fast and ran down a lot of balls. Alyssa Noe is a really quick setter and runs down a lot of balls that might be a bad pass or a shank that a lot of other people can’t, and Lauren Overfield is right there as well.”
That speed keyed yet another Eisel barrage of kills on a block, a shot from the middle and a blast through a blocker to make it 16-5.
Sauber found wood with a shot for the Indians but Alyssa Noe scored on a pair of aces, Kori Kreuz on a crossing push from the right side, Floyd from the left, Eisel with her eighth and ninth kills for the set and finally Mossing on a tip to end the game.
Eisel and Mossing started the third set with emphatic slams to again put the Vikings up, however, Sauber responded with two kills for the Indians to give them a 6-5 lead.
“She’s responded well,” said Blanchong of his 6’0” freshman. “She keeps getting better and better so that’s a great thing to look forward to for the next four years.”
Evergreen rallied with a 6-0 run, finished by Rachael Noe’s back-to-back aces to regain control at 11-6.
After a hitting error, Eisel scored from the left side, then with a thunderous flying hammer shot from the middle for a 13-7 Viking lead.
Hayley Chamberlain’s kill and Bosell’s crossing shot helped get the Indians within 16-13 before Evergreen again went on a 6-0 run to in essence put the match away.
This time it was Mossing with a push, Fauble painting the back line and a block kill, Mossing again through a blocker and Fauble with a whip-like slam that made it 22-13 before Eisel finished the set with her 18th kill of the night.
“Alyssa does a great job putting the ball in our hitters hands in the right places,” Wulf explained of her team’s offense. “She can really make our hitters look good.”
In spite of the sweep, Blanchong saw some good things from his Indians who are now 12-7.
“Evergreen’s a good team so when we have two games at 25-19 we’re doing something right. We did have a couple of nice plays but we definitely couldn’t put it all together. However, we’ve been competitive, this was really the first league match that we really got beat. Evergreen played well but they needed to play well to beat us and they did.”
“The (OHSAA state) tournament draw is coming up and I believe we can do well in our district and our girls are excited about the tournament run as well.”
On Monday the Indians hosted and defeated Lake in four games, 26-24, 25-22, 17-25 and 25-17.
Bosell and Kallie Strauss led the attack as Strauss was 29 for 37 hitting with 11 kills and two blocks, while Bosell was 28 of 33 hitting with 10 kills. In addition, Sauber had 10 kills and two blocks.
Evergreen won at home over Rossford, 25-3, 25-20 and 25-23.
The Vikings look to stay unbeaten in the league against Liberty Center tonight, at home, before traveling to Otsego Saturday.
Wauseon plays at Springfield on Saturday in their next match.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org