Brecken Roe pumped her fist in excitement as she gathered her team after slamming home the game-winning kill as Maize’s volleyball team took down Rose Hill in three sets, 11-25, 25-16, 25-17.
Rose Hill sophomore Gracie VanDriel was causing havoc for the Eagles’ defense in the first, taking advantage of Maize’s defensive miscues.
“I think it was a mental game for us,” Maize coach Betsy Manning said. “Rose Hill has some incredible players … we weren’t diving for balls on the ground and we had to change that as the match went on.”
Maize (11-1) fell behind 9-5 in the second set before junior Julianna Ledbetter rattled off 11 straight serves as the Eagles went ahead 16-9. Rose Hill coach Melissa Segovia tried to slow the rally with a timeout, but Ledbetter wasn’t fazed.
“I try not to let the other coach win when they call a timeout during the run,” Ledbetter said. “I just tried to get one serve in at a time and hoped my teammates could win the point.”
Rose Hill (4-2) tried to battle back late in the second set and pulled within six points, but the run was ended as Maize forced a third set.
The Eagles dominated the third set, highlighted by a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 14-3. Maize’s offense was clicking on every point, including three kills from Roe in that stretch.
“We had all the momentum in the third game,” Roe said. “We set the tempo early and didn’t let up.”
The Rockets’ hard-hitting offense was shut down in the second and third sets – a big key to that was the Eagles’ aggressiveness and quick footwork.
“We just talked about how we needed to be more scrappy,” Manning said. “There was no excuse to see people not sacrificing their body and getting to more balls.”
Maize defeated Andover Central, 25-13, 25-20 in the first match of the triangular. Rose Hill beat Andover Central 25-13, 26-24.
“It’s always big to sweep your opponents,” Manning said. “Rose Hill is a fast-paced offensive team with a lot of weapons. That will help us as the season goes on and definitely in the postseason.”