The East Wilkes Lady Cardinals knew they had to improve in all areas if they were going to beat Elkin volleyball Tuesday night. It didn’t start out that way, but they certainly finished that way.
After dropping the first set, the Lady Cardinals were solid on defense and in their serves in the next three to win an important conference matchup. The Lady Cardinals gave points away in Monday’s loss to Forbush, and they made sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
“We finally decided that, ‘What do you have to lose,’” Lady Cardinals Head Coach Meredith Wingler said. “They really made sure that they put all of their effort into what they were doing on the court as far as serves and swings towards the end.”
Both teams were 4-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play coming in, but after struggling so much Monday night on serves, the Lady Cardinals traded missed serves for aces. Senior Olivia Bullard and sophomore Katie Prevette had six aces each, while sophomore Lauren Johnson added five. Bullard also had nine kills on 13 attempts.
“We know what to do, we just don’t move all the time. It was awesome when everything was clicking,” Bullard said.
Perhaps more important Tuesday than offense was their stellar defense, which never showed any quit, whether or not a teammate’s pass went where it should. Their hustle improved tremendously throughout the game.
“Our attitudes and our actual mentality was overall a lot better in this match,” Wingler said. “And it probably has something to do with the rivalry.”
“You got to play with heart,” senior Saleena Call said. “That’s the difference between a good team and an average team. You have to play knowing that you’re going to get it. You have to want every ball.”
Continuing on with conference play, East Wilkes moved on to play Starmount Thursday night at home. Much like Call, Caitlyn Macemore is a defensive leader on the team, and said they need to continue to improve if they are to make for a good battle against the Rams.
“We’re really bad with losing our first sets,” Macemore said. “We need to get up have a strong mindset. We definitely were more aggressive tonight. [Losing to Forbush] was all in our heads.”
Elkin also had a Thursday night game at North Wilkes. Thursday’s scores were not available at press time.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.