Western volleyball knocks off Monticello 3-1

Monticello made things tough on Western Albemarle, but the Warriors managed to bounce back from a lackluster game three Tuesday night to close out a 3-1 match win over the Mustangs.

Serving played a big role in the Warriors’ ability to rebound from the 25-20 loss to the Mustangs as the Warriors returned the favor with a 25-20 win in game four with an ace opening up the game and solid runs at the line leading the way.

“I think the serving helped — I didn’t tell them to do anything differently,” said Western coach Ron Pack. “We went through a stage where our serving was very very poor (earlier in the year) and I don’t like to do this but I told them we were going to have to ease up on our serving and get them in. Now that we’ve cut down on the errors I’ve told them let’s get the first one in and then serve a little more aggressive.”

The Warriors built a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-13 victory in the opening frame and a narrow 27-25 win in game two. Monticello refused to go quietly though down 2-0 and rode an aggressive approach at the net to the game three victory.

“It’s been a goal we’ve been working on all year — we have a tendency to play third games flat so that’s been our focus,” said Monticello coach Jackie Hargis.

Western’s own assault proved too much in game four though as Maggie Spindel and Ali Sandridge each had 15 kills on the night. The Warriors were at their best when they were attacking with authority at the net as they did throughout game four.

“I was hoping for even more but it looked a lot better,” Pack said. “We have some players who are tentative and tip a lot and I’ve been on their case all season to take the swing. Power does a lot of good things for you in volleyball.”

Spindel had a big-time all-around game with a team-high three blocks and four aces to go with her team kills. Sandridge came up with 14 digs as well and helped carry the defense along with Christina Blount who finished with 22 digs. Abi Wagner had the bulk of the assists with 25 on the night while Erin Farina finished with 11.

Monticello got 12 kills out of sophomore outside hitter Zimako Chuks while Trystam Carr clocked in with 13 digs and Allie Perez finished with a game-high 31 assists.

The Mustangs face another tough challenge Thursday night when they head across town to face Albemarle while the Warriors host Charlottesville as they try and improve their standing in Conference 23 before the postseason.