West Franklin High School volleyball team made blocking a point of emphasis Tuesday against league rival Mission Valley at Pomona.
The Falcons turned up the defensive pressure in the second match.
“We did not do a good job of that at the beginning,” West Franklin coach Angie Corwine said. “As the match went on, our blockers started to get their timing down. Blockers stepped up and took care of business.”
West Franklin finished with eight stuff blocks in the second match. The Falcons swept the Vikings 25-20, 25-23 and 25-22, 25-12.
“Our blocking was the key,” senior McKenzie Steele said. “We shut them down with so many blocks.”
West Franklin knew it needed to shore up that area after the easy win last week over Osage City.
“Our goal was to do better on blocking,” senior Emily Reed said.
She finished with seven stuff blocks, five coming in the second set blowout. She also had seven kills in 10 attempts for a .700 hitting percentage.
“She put some balls down,” Corwine said. “She is hitting the way we know she can. That is one more person the other team has to worry about.”
The Falcons played with poise and cohesiveness. The first match was back-and-forth.
“We played together,” Reed, who had 14 kills in the first match, said. “Everybody was talking.”
Steele said, “We have always had great potential. We lacked communication. We were louder than we have ever been. Our whole student body was here to support us. It helps a lot.”
Corwine saw a team that showed no mercy.
“I liked our mental toughness,” Corwine said. “That is something the past few years that has been lacking. I liked their focus.”
She liked their killer instinct in the second set of the second match.
“That was great to see,” Corwine said. “That was another thing we have been lacking.”
The two volleyball programs have been butting heads since their middle school days.
“We battled with Mission Valley since the seniors were in junior high,” Corwine said. “It has gone back and forth between the two of us. It kind of like the seniors last hurrah. We will see them again in the league tournament. They really wanted it.”
Steele said this match meant a lot.
“We would rather beat them by two points than kill another team 25-0,” she said.
Reed said, “We always love beating Mission Valley. It is fun beating them. They are a really good team.”
Emily Reed: 23 kills, 2 blocks, 16 assists, 15 digs.
Aubry Flory: 7 stuff blocks, 13 kills.
Bailey Whittington: 8 aces, 2 blocks, 13 digs.
McKenzie Steele: 4 aces, 7 kills, 19 digs.
Micayla Campfield: 21 assists,
Brittany Crump: 2 aces, 17 digs.