The Edgewood Academy volleyball team celebrated Senior Night in style as the Lady Wildcats cruised to a 3-0 sweep over Autauga Academy on Tuesday night.
Celebrating seniors Molly Snow and Emma Weldon, Edgewood Academy beat Autauga Academy, 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, 25-20), in area play. The Lady Wildcats improve their season record to 10-2 with a 3-0 record in area play.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Edgewood head coach David DeLozier said. “We are working on some kinks to fix for when we play some tougher teams, but I thought overall we did pretty good.”
Each of the first two sets played out about the same way. Edgewood and Autauga were tied 4-4 early in the first set before finishing the set on a 21-5 run. The Lady Wildcats went on runs of 6-0, 4-0, and 7-0 to close out the set.
In the second set, Autauga played it a little closer and found itself tied, 9-9, after two bad serves and two hits out of bounds from Edgewood.
But Edgewood quickly went on a 10-2 run to separate the set and go up 20-11, then never let the set get closer than five points.
“Like I’ve preached to my team all year, it’s just about being intentional,” DeLozier said of pulling away in each set. “Sometimes when things are going really well, we tend to be lackadaisical and relaxed, so we really we just try to get them to focus on every point and not just when it’s close or as the set goes on.”
The key to pulling away for Edgewood was serving. Up 6-4 in the first set, Edgewood had seven aces the rest of the way, including three in four points from Lindsey Brown to help pull away and go up 1-0.
In the second set, Karlee Mainor had back-to-back aces to put Edgewood up, 12-9, then Samantha Wheat had two aces in her last three serves to close out the set and put the Lady Wildcats up, 2-0.
Overall, Edgewood Academy had 18 service aces in the match.
“What we practice on a lot with our serving is really driving the ball,” DeLozier said. “I’m not really looking to get the point started. I’m looking to score. We really trained that mentality in practice and it paid off for us tonight.”
While the Lady Wildcats had plenty of success serving the ball, Edgewood was also unstoppable at the net.
Madison Martin, Edgewood’s tallest player, had her way at the net. Martin missed most of the early part of the season with a sickness, then had to work in her way back into shape on the court.
She looked in pristine shape as she tallied up a team-high 14 kills in the match, including the final kill of the night as Edgewood won the third and final set, 25-20.
She also added one block, and really helped separate the teams during the second set. She scored three of the first five Edgewood points in the second set on kills, then put the set out of reach with a brutal sequence of kills.
Leading 14-11, Martin had three kills and one block to score four consecutive points and put Edgewood up, 18-11. After an Avery White kill, Martin added her last kill of the set to put the Lady Wildcats up, 20-11.
Seven of her 14 kills came in the second set.
“Ever since Madison has come back and been able to play, she’s done a really good job working hard in practice with blocking and hitting,” DeLozier said. “Obviously her height is an advantage, but it’s really her eyework and tracking what we’re trying to block and when. If we have good eyework, that really puts us in a good spot to block.”
Mainor had plenty of success at the net as well, but also serving the ball. She finished with 7 kills and 5 aces on the night.