Sweeps of Milwaukie, Putnam keep Wildcats near top of NWOC
Even last year, when the Wilsonville volleyball team won just five matches all season, the players knew they had the talent to be competitive in league play before long.
Only one senior was leaving. Three all-league honorees were returning. Several others were primed for breakout campaigns.
Under first-year coach Kristen Rott, the transition has come quickly for the Wildcats.
They won six of seven matches in their first trip through the Northwest Oregon Conference slate, capping the halfway point of their regular season with a dominant 3-0 (25-9, 25-12, 25-15) sweep of Milwaukie at home Oct. 1.
Wilsonville then started the second half of its league schedule with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-19) shutout of Putnam on the road Oct. 3. Rotts team defeated Putnam 3-1 in its league opener last month.
The Wildcats sweep of the Kingsmen was their third 3-0 decision in league play, following their first sweep of Sherwood since 2007 and their clobbering of the Mustangs. They have won 19 of 27 sets in conference action.
Their only loss in the first round of league play came at the hands of St. Helens, which snagged a 3-1 victory in the teams Sept. 19 meeting.
The rematch is slated for 6:45 p.m. Oct. 15 at Wilsonville High School.
It makes me so mad, sophomore middle blocker Genna Florig said of the loss to the Lions. We just needed to discipline ourselves. Theyre a strong team, but were strong, too.
Sophomore libero Skyler Matthews said mistakes and miscommunications cost the Wildcats in their setback against St. Helens.
We all werent connected, she said. We have to eliminate the errors and communicate better.
Rott, meanwhile, said after her teams recent win over Sandy that the bad spells were due in part to predictability on offense.
If you hit the ball to the exact same spot every time, youre gonna make the other team look phenomenal, Rott said.
Her teams looming matchup with St. Helens could go a long way in determining this years champion in the conference.