FISHERSVILLE – After a less-than-impressive start to the season, the Wilson Memorial volleyball team is starting to hit its stride.
The Green Hornets put together a dominating performance on Tuesday night, sweeping past Stuarts Draft, 25-14, 25-23 and 25-15. The Cougars beat Wilson previously this season in five sets.
Abby Taylor’s hitting and serving, combined with the all-around play of Hannah Johnson, sparked the assault. Taylor had 17 kills and a nine-point service run in the third game to break things open, while Johnson provided nine kills, 12 digs and 17 assists.
Wilson Memorial head coach Lauren Grove made some changes recently and it seems to be working.
“My middles and my outsides, I flip-flopped everybody,” said Grove. “Just kind of changing our blocking, hoping the timing will be a little bit better.”
Taylor made her presence felt early in the first set, compiling three kills and a block to help the Hornets race out to a 13-4 lead. Emma Harrison had five points during the stretch, including an ace.
After falling 25-14 in the opener, Draft showed some life in the second set. Trailing 21-16, Rendy Dressler had three straight aces and Deborah Black knocked down a spike that put the Cougars ahead 22-21.
Taylor quickly answered with three consecutive kills, including a pair on dinks, to put Wilson back up 24-22. A kill by Black fought off one set-point, but Harrison’s kill on the next point gave the game to the Hornets.
The third set was tight for a while before Wilson Memorial reeled off 10 straight points to break a 12-12 tie. A kill from Johnson ended the match and moved the Hornets to 11-6 on the season.
“I just think we all finally came together and played really well this time,” said Taylor, a senior outside hitter. “It’s getting ready to be the postseason and we’re really getting up on this energy that we have.”
Stuarts Draft, which dropped to 11-4 on the season, got seven kills from Black and five from Danielle Brenneman in the loss. Abby Foster had 15 assists and Faith Shirley contributed 18 digs on defense.
Wilson, which travels to Riverheads for a big showdown on Thursday, saw Harrison notch seven kills and Grace Carter accumulate 11 digs.
“It’s a good start to our week,” said Grove of the victory. “Overall, it was just a great team effort. It was nice to see everyone working together.”