The Titans arrived in Amherst with an impressive arsenal: Maggie Nedoma, Destinee Harris, and Kayla Gudel are tall and strong hitters for Berea-Midpark.
When they were able to get a handle on the ball, they were deadly.
But the Comets were adroit at frustrating the Titans hitters. The back line stayed spread out to avoid gaps and the front was consistent in putting the ball out of reach or by blocking spikes.
“We’re doing a pretty good job of channeling balls and touching balls at the net. There are few balls that go across the net untouched. It takes someone 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 to bring the ball across the net. Typically that’s a chip, not a swing,” confirmed coach Laurie Cogan.
Keeping the Titans off-balance drastically reduced their hits. The general result was a lob to the Comets who, on the shoulders of setter London Voss, had more opportunities to set up kills.
Amherst swept the series 3-0.
Leading in the attack were Tori Small, Alana Carrion, and Payton Jackson. In the first game, Jackson and Small each had three kills. Jackson took game point. Making a notable contribution was Sarah Weigand with a kill and an ace in the 25-13 win.
Berea-Midpark picked up the pace in game two but was ably offset by the Comets. Titans Nedoma and Harris hit for a combined eight kills while Harris and Gudel made five blocks, three for points.
Undaunted, Amherst hitters Small, Carrion, Weigand, and Jackson hammered at the Titans for a total of 11 kills. Voss slipped in a pair of chips to up the offense’s output. Sydney Siegenthaler had a pair of aces while Erika Eischen and Gracen Siegenthaler each added an ace to the 25-13 outcome.
The last game was an all-out rally for the Titans. Harris and Nedoma led Berea-Midpark to a total of 10 kills with Harris scoring a pair of block points.
The Lady Comets met the challenge handsomely, answering with 11 kills and three block points. Jumping into the fray was Sarah Farley with two kills and a block point. The 25-17 final reveals both the laudable effort by the Titans and the solid response of the Comets.
Observable to the veteran fan is the communication on the court, both verbal and instinctive, by the Comets that keeps Amherst’s volleyball squad on track.
“On the floor you can see them communicating information to one another. That shows a lot of volleyball growth, something very few of my teams have demonstrated,” said Cogan.
“My kids are starting to come into their own. We’ve had four pretty good matches. I think each time we’re playing a little bit better. They’re starting to do things I talked about earlier in the season, which is, when they’re on the bench you look at what’s happening on the defensive side of the net and then sharing that information with their teammates. And, using that information when they sub in.”
Carl Sullenberger | Amherst News-Times The Lady Comets were not intimidated by the Titans’ powerful hitters as demonstrated by junior Gracen Siegenthaler, who had a block point and two kills against Berea-Midpark in their 3-0 loss to Amherst.