MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon volleyball team had some trouble getting its engine started Tuesday.
But, once they got it started, the Jackets’ engine started running like a well-oiled machine. The Yellow Jackets beat visiting Olentangy Orange, 20-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-15 in a key Ohio Capital Conference matchup.
“They were outworking us in the first game by far,” said Mount Vernon coach Alan Cassell. “We had trouble covering their tips. We were playing kind of flat-footed.”
A pair of big runs helped the Pioneers (0-3) to a 10-4 lead early in the first game. Mount Vernon (2-0) couldn’t close the gap and lost the first game.
It didn’t look much better for the Jackets in the second as Orange took a 5-3 lead. But, a couple of nice digs from the back row and big kills from Madisyn Montgomery was the spark the Jackets needed. A 13-3 run put the Jackets ahead for good.
“We were definitely not talking at all (in the first),” said sophomore setter Parker VanFossen. “Once we started hitting the ball and putting it down, things got better.”
Mount Vernon kept it going in the third, getting timely kills and blocks from Montgomery, Katelyn Dufur and Melissa Hall. The big key, though, was the improved play of the back row.
“Our communication really picked up the last three sets,” said Hall, a senior outside hitter. “Our blocking improved throughout the game. ... And we had good defense behind our blocks. If the ball got through the blocks, we were still able to get it.”
“They were playing smart at the net, tipping (the ball) where the floor was open,” said Cassell. “We were trying to get the back row more alert and cover that. We were able to adjust better as the game went on.”
Two big runs by the Jackets in the fourth effectively put the final game away and sent the Jackets on to the victory.Launch Image Gallery