Regular-season victories are a part of the norm around the Edgewood volleyball program. The Wildcats have not lost a regular season match since 2017 and they extended that streak to 33 matches Thursday with a straight-set victory over Lee-Scott.
“I knew Lee-Scott and a couple of the bigger schools would give us a run for our money a little bit,” Edgewood coach Hannah Josey said. “I didn’t really know exactly what to expect but to see how we came out just like every other game was encouraging for me to see.”
The Wildcats (11-0) jumped out to a quick start by winning the first set, 25-10. Lee-Scott, which was No. 5 in the latest AL.com state rankings, did not have an answer for Edgewood’s strong front row.
The second set provided more of a challenge for the Wildcats as the Warriors stayed within striking distance. However, Edgewood stayed in control of the set and won, 25-19.
“A lot of it is winning the first set by a bunch and then they may slack off a little bit in the second set,” Josey said. “I’ve only had to call one timeout this whole time though. They know that if they mess around and sleep on a team, anyone can come back on us. It won’t always be a runaway but they’re able to regain that focus.”
Edgewood continued to ride its big hitters to victory in the third set, finishing off the Warriors 25-7. Sydney Johnson led the Wildcats with 11 kills on 16 attacks.
Sydney Brown added eight kills to go along with three blocks. Katie Roberts had six kills, three blocks and four aces.
“We call them our power hitters,” Josey said. “Any time they get the ball, you can count on them putting it down. They make great decisions, they’re smart with the ball and they’re really reliable. It’s really nice to have them on my side.”
Edgewood setter Madison White was the connection for the front line, finishing with 16 assists. The Wildcats finished with 41 kills, putting down 61 percent of their attack attempts.
“I have confidence in really my whole team,” Josey said. “I can send in anyone off my bench and have confidence in them. Any time any of my players gets the opportunity to pass it or hit it, I have full confidence they will either make a kill or just make the right play.”
The Wildcats have not dropped a set outside of tournament play at Glenwood during the first weekend of the season. Edgewood has not seen a lot of close competition so far. Josey said she always prefers to see a higher margin of victory but there are still positives to pull from a closer match.
“I do think it can bring out the best in the players because the energy goes way up, they’re encouraging each other and honestly it might be more fun for the fans,” Josey said. “Those are the moments we want to rely on the bench to really pump us up. They really step up their energy and once that happens, they’re very hard to stop.”
Josey said the Wildcats were tested at the Glenwood tournament and she expects the competition to get tougher as the season goes on. It took another step up when Edgewood faced off with Macon-East on Tuesday night. It was the two teams’ first meeting with each other since last year’s AISA-AA state championship when the Knights ended Edgewood’s perfect season.
“They’re definitely looking forward to it,” Josey said. “It’s really a revenge game more than anything but I have every confidence they will go into this game like every other one. We have to treat it like we treat all of them. I want us to go out on the court and dominate every set.”
NOTE: Edgewood dropped the first set 25-22 but came back to defeat Macon-East in four sets. Katie Roberts and Karlee Mainor each record 10 kills.