They always say you can’t teach size and Wauseon used every bit of it to dismantle Evergreen in straight sets 25-15, 25-21, and 25-13 to go to 10-4 on the season Tuesday in a Northwest Ohio Athletic League volleyball match.
“Our shortest front row player is 5’10”,” Wauseon coach Nic Encalado said. “It does have its advantages definitely. But with that being said, we have worked with a lot of their footwork at the net. We have been getting a lot of net calls but we are working through that. All three of them are underclassmen so hopefully we have size to come and things keep getting better.”
Jazmine Barajas’ ace and kills by Cameron Estep and 6’2” Jocelynne St. John-Fisher gave Wauseon an early 6-3 lead, but two missed serves and two more attack errors helped the Viking get back to even at 7-7.
From that point Estep stuck three aces during a 7-0 run to give the Indians control in the opening set. The other half of the Indians’ twin towers, 6’1” Hayley Meyer, scored on a tip and a block to extend the Tribe lead to 21-10.
Lyla Nash got the Vikes back to 24-16 with a pair of left-side kills but Makayla Kebschull ended the set with a shot from the left.
Wauseon jumped out early again at 6-3 behind a double block from Meyer and St. John-Fisher, a St. John-Fisher kill that rolled the tape before falling, and Estep’s tip. But the Vikings came back on a Nash block and Nicole Johnson’s kill to knot the game at 6-6.
Wauseon bounced out to a 12-7 lead keyed by Aaliyah Glover’s push and an Ella Hageman ace, but the Vikings fought back to a 15-14 deficit when Ellie Johnson aced the Indians. Estep’s tip and Meyer’s ace pushed the Indians back up three, then Estep’s left-side bomb made it 22-16.
However, Nash wouldn’t let the Vikings go away as the sophomore delivered twice more to slice the lead to 24-21 before Meyer’s push found an open spot on the backside for the set winner.
In the third set Wauseon broke away from a 13-10 lead with 11 straight points.
Marisa Seiler had a couple aces and freshman Johanna Tester got three scores from the left and right.
Addy Case also added a kill during that streak.
Encalado explained that his team’s success is based on their great enthusiasm to work.
“I’m grateful my first year here that I have the athletes I do,” he said. “Not only for the natural ability that they have but the work ethic. They are non-stop. These girls want to go-go-go. I have to fight for them to take a day off because they constantly want to be in the gym and they definitely want to win. They have goals and every time we have a setback it makes them go after it even harder.
“Team chemistry is something we have focused on ever since I got here in May. They have bonded really well and they are closer and closer the longer the season goes.”