WELLSBORO -- The Williamson Lady Warriors (2-1) were able to bounce back after a disappointing 3-1 loss to NP-Liberty (2-0) earlier in the week for an impressive 3-0 sweep here in Wellsboro over the Lady Hornet’s volleyball team (1-2).
“I still got chills,” senior captain Rylie Sargent said after the win. “It feels good to finally come back and execute a good game. We made a few tweaks and we executed the whole thing, pass, set, hit.”
Despite the sweep, the Wellsboro team showed some extreme resiliency throughout.
In the first set, the Lady Warriors built their lead to 20-10 at one point, but Wellsboro would rally back behind a few miscues by the Lady Warriors to close the gap to as little as six with a score of 24-18.
Williamson would finally escape with a 1-0 lead, but not without some lapses in energy.
During those lapses, senior Sargent was able to get things going for the Williamson girls.
“It’s a very mental game,” Williamson Head Coach Lenore Schmitt said. “We got a couple of great senior leaders that I feel they held things steady tonight.”
In the opening portion of the second set, the Wellsboro girls came out swinging.
After quickly falling behind 2-0, they would score nine of the next 12 points to gain a 9-5 lead and were able to capitalize in key spots.
They would continue to lead until the midway point of the set with the score of 15-12, but the Lady Warriors would once again respond.
A big block by Sargent that fell to the middle of the Wellsboro floor started a 12-3 run that saw the table flipped and the Lady Warriors executing at a much higher level.
Wellsboro would once again make their rally, closing the gap to 24-22, but the Lady Warriors took a timeout, cleaned things up, and got the win by a score of 25-22.
The Lady Warriors put it all together in the final set to finish things off and came out with an abundance of energy to score the first six points of the set and force a Wellsboro timeout.
The Lady Hornets adjusted and fought back, but the early lead was too much for Wellsboro to overcome as they fell by a decisive 25-10 score.
In the final set, sophomore Adelaide Schmitt made some solid plays and was stalwart from the libero position all night for Williamson.
Coming in at such a young age at such an important position has been a learning curve for the young player, but she has been able to respond due to strong leadership and great camaraderie with her teammates.
“It’s nice the seniors here are amazing,” Schmitt said. “I love working with them, I’m sad it’s their last year because they’re so good and fun to work with, and the rest of us are young. I think it’s good for us younger players to be in important positions and I think we’re ready for this.”
The Wellsboro girls showed a lot of resilience in the loss, and despite falling into some major deficits throughout continued to fight.
Emma Owlett hit the ball extremely well for the Lady Hornets, and she racked up nine kills in the effort. Brianna Smith also added six points and Emma Owlett also added four points for the Lady Hornets.
Both Emily Starkweather and Meredith Brownlee racked up three kills as well for the Lady Hornets in the loss.
On the other side, Williamson had a strong day serving the ball as a unit and Sargent believed it helped them to overcome Wellsboro for their second win.
“We leaned on serving tonight,” Sargent said. “we had a few serves that missed, but tonight I think there was only one or two that missed. Our net play was good tonight as well, and we were just being aggressive.”
With some up-and-down moments to start the year, the win helps the team to build confidence and Adelaide Schmitt believes it will help get their team started as they enter the heart of the 2021-2022 season.
“It feels really good,” Adelaide Schmitt said. “It’s just the start of everything. I think it’s good to get on the right track and being 201 right now and I think we’re going to go far, and this game helps.”
Williamson now gets a true test, as they take on the undefeated Northern Tier League Small School Division leader Northeast Bradford Lady Panthers on Saturday, Sept. 18 on the road at 11 a.m.
“There’s a difference between saying you can win and knowing you have the skill versus being able to put that together into a team and a championship mindset,” Coach Schmitt said. “If you’re playing like champions, and you’re going out there and it’s all clock, the passing, the setting, the hitting and you’re covering, then you look up at the scoreboard and you know what it will say.”
Wellsboro, who now sits at 1-2, will now look to get back on track as they traveled to Loyalsock on Wednesday, Sept. 15 to take on the Lady Lancers at 7:30 p.m.