By Tony Burns
West Side Christian looked dominant in its home volleyball opener Thursday. The Lady Warriors swept Garrett Memorial of Hope, 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 in the Warrior Center and improved to 2-0 on the season.
After rallying from a five-point deficit in the second game, West Side never trailed in the final, getting off to a 10-0 lead on Brooklin Pitard’s service. The lead swelled to 12-1 on an ace by Tori Bates and the Lady Warriors cruised from there.
“I feel really good we came out of here with a victory. There were times we had to work for it and had to get our mind-set back in gear and stay aggressive. That’s the key to us as a team, staying aggressive staying in the game, every play,” said Coach Adam Willett.
“It was a team effort. It was more of a team thing than any individual player. As a whole, we played, at times, really, really well.”
West Side was led by its Big 3 of 6-foot-1 seniors Lauren Land and Anna Williams and Pitard, a junior setter.
Williams led the team with 10 kills plus 10 assists and two aces. Land had eight kills and two blocks. Pitard had a team-high 12 assists to go with eight kills, four aces and a pair of digs.
“Those three really have a dynamic there because they’ve been playing together for several years. They have a chemistry that works really well together,” Willett said. “That’s really the core of our team, right there. The team follows that chemistry and I think that’s good for us.”
The Lady Warriors never trailed in the first game. Pitard had a pair of aces to build a 3-0 lead. The lead was 13-9 before a string of six unanswered points, keyed by the Pitard-to-Williams connection, which accounted for three consecutive kills.
Game 2 saw Garrett Memorial play its best ball of the night, building a 15-10 lead. Pitard had a pair of service winners with Land and Williams recording kills to tie the game at 15-15. Garrett Memorial regained the lead at 19-18 before committing a service error to tie it up. Williams followed with back-to-back aces before Pitard had a pair of put-aways. Land ended the game with a service winner.
“Second game we really were sluggish. We started kind of playing into the environment. It was a little bit warm in the gym,” said Willett. “We’re missing one of our starters tonight. I think we started getting lazy, kind of slow. And then that third game, we really picked it up, played more aggressive. I think that’s the key to every game we play, being aggressive and playing with that mind-set.”
West Side won the junior varsity match 25-15, 19-25, 15-11.
West Side hosts Columbia Christian on Tuesday in a key league matchup.