Maryville volleyball stayed perfect after defeating the Excelsior Springs Tigers Sept. 17. The Spoofhounds tallied their sixth win of the season after a tightly-contested win in the ‘Hound Pound.
The Tigers controlled the first set with little-to-no mistakes. Excelsior came out quick and precise and carried themselves with confidence with each point gained jumping out to an 11-6 lead. On the other side of the net, the Spoofhounds struggled to gain momentum in the first set. They eventually let it get away from them, losing 25-15.
“I feel like in the first set we had some pregame jitters that weren’t expressed,” coach Miranda Foster said. “As a team, we expect to win, so it was a matter of our team being able to respond.”
The Spoofhounds responded rather quickly as they headed into the second set with the same mentality, but got off to a much better start. A 10-5 lead to start the second was attributed to some adjustments that were made after the initial set of the evening, leaving the Spoofhounds with the five-point lead to show for it.
Maryville experienced minor turmoil in the back half of the set as it had some communication issues on the front line, which cost a couple of points. While this didn’t necessarily stop the ‘Hounds’ momentum, it slowed them down.
“We have some team leaders that help provide some communicative relief, players who can keep everyone in the game and not let a single play or decision affect them,” Foster said.
The Spoofhounds would go on to win the second set 25-21, which would even the game score at one apiece. Despite Maryville’s struggles of communication in the first and second sets, they came out red hot in the third set starting off on a 10-3 run and looked poised to send the Tigers packing.
In the third and final set, standout junior midhitter Serena Sundell took control for her team, accounting for nine of the 25 points that the ‘Hounds scored.
Maryville’s strategy in the third set was to set up Sundell, who is traditionally one of the more gifted scorers on the roster. The nine points from Sundell included points 11-16 where she accounted for all of them. Maryville rolled to a 25-10 win in the final set.
“We all knew we didn’t play our best in the first set; we just had to keep our energy up and stay focused going into the rest of the game.” Sundell said. “We always keep the same mindset throughout the game and that alone makes us better.”