By Andy Krutsinger,
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD ? The Winfield-Mt. Union volleyball team was about as sharp as you can get on Monday night.
The Wolves dominated an IMS team they hadn?t beaten all season, knocking them out in three sets and winning two of those sets by double-digits. W-MU took sets 25-6, 27-25 and 25-14 to advance to the regional semifinals.
The first set was all W-MU. The Wolves scored 11 of the first 12 points of the night, getting a long serve streak from Jami Wilkerson and four kills from Lexee Hartsock to open up an 11-1 lead.
IMS cut the lead down to one posession at 12-3 on a Suzanna Yoder kill, but W-MU continued to roll, thanks in part to four kills and two blocks from Jenna Buffington, and finished off a dominant 25-6 win.
?We came out really, really sharp,? said W-MU coach David Pieart. ?We got a fast start, which is really unusual for us, and Mennonite seemed a little off. They were making some unusual mistakes (and) we took advantage of them.?
IMS came out swinging in the second set and made it the tightest game of the night by far. IMS got a handfull of kills from Samantha Miller throughout the first half of the game and went back and forth with the Wolves all set.
The second set was tied an astounding 13 times, including 22-22 after a block from Yoder and Rubye Ney. Hershberger served an ace on the next point and IMS took a late lead.
The two teams traded points to bring the IMS lead to 24-23, but Buffington tied it up with another kill, and Lauren Jamison had a kill of her own to put the Wolves up 25-24.
Ney came up with a big kill to tie the game at 25-25, but the next IMS serve was long and Buffington ended the game with an ace to take the second set 27-25.
The Wolves snatched back momentum after the second set. Kyndal Townsley had a long serve streak with a couple aces to help the Wolves get out to a 9-4 lead, and W-MU never looked back, pulling away with the third set 25-14, and stunning IMS with a sweep.
After the game, Coach Pieart talked about the success of his hitters, who kept IMS off balance all night.
?We always hope that?s how they?re going to play, but it is unusual for us to have all of our hitters on, on the same night,? Pieart said. ?It was a team effort tonight. To get the kills, we needed people to get the digs and the coverage, and we needed to get the sets.?
W-MU was led by Buffington, who finished with 16 kills. Hartsock had 13 kills and Liana Sweezer had four.
Jamison finished the game with 23 assists on the day. Buffington, Hartsock, Pearl Krieger-Coble and Sweezer each had one block.
The Wolves didn?t miss a serve all night. They went 79-79 with seven aces. Townsley had three aces, Jamison finished with two and both Buffington and Wilkerson had one.
W-MU moved to 14-18 with the win. The Wolves will take on No. 14 HLV in the regional semifinals on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.