The Centre Lady Cougars took another step forward Tuesday evening when they went 2-0 to win the Solomon Triangular Wheat State volleyball match ups.
The Lady Cougars opened the evening by handing the home-standing Lady Gorillas a 24-9, 25-14 defeat and then completed the sweep in the second game of the triangular with a 25-13, 25-12 win over Hope High School.
"I saw more consistency which is what you have to have in volleyball," Centre coach Yvonne Burhoop said of the reasoning behind Centre taking both matches they played Tuesday. "You can’t have lulls and mental errors that hurt you."
With the sweep, Centre improved its record this season to 5-6. The Lady Cougars were coming off a weekend tournament which they hosted and went 2-3 to place fourth, but Burhoop said she a lot of improvement from her team Tuesday evening.
"We didn’t do as well as our talent was and so tonight was a focal point for the girls," Burhoop said of Saturday’s tournament compared to Tuesday evening’s action. "They thought ‘hey we are going to focus and we are going to go out and play the way we can.’ They did a much better job of that."
The Lady Cougars saw Solomon race out to a quick 3-1 lead in the opening game of the opening match Tuesday night, but the Lady Cougars were not going to be satisfied.
Centre’s Olesya Openasyuk went to the service line with the Lady Cougars trailing 3-2 and did not leave until she had served Centre to a 14-4 advantage.
The Lady Cougars did not trail the remainder of the opening game as they held off the Lady Gorillas for a 25-9 victory.
The second game was a back-and-forth affair early on that saw four lead changes until Centre’s Bryanna Svoboda served up five straight winners, including three aces, giving Centre a 20-11 lead.
The Lady Cougars closed out the second game and opening match with three straight points by Opanasyuke and then relaxed a couple of minutes for their next match with Hope.
"My girls passed consistently and they finished hitting the ball," Burhoop said. "There wasn’t anything outstanding, but my girls played well."
Once again, against the Lady Lions of Hope, the Lady Cougars controlled both games from the early beginning and won 25-13, 25-12.
In the opening game against Hope the Lady Lions actually jumped out to the early lead and led 11-8 bfore Svoboda went to the service line for the Lady Cougars.
Svoboda served the Lady Cougars to a 12-11 lead before Hope picked up a side out to knot the score 12-12. Centre got a quick, one serve, side out to go back in front 13-12 and sent Genesis Rudolph to the service line. Rudolph did not leave the service line until Centre contolled an 18-12 lead. Hope did not get closer than five points the rest of the way as Centre won the opening game of the match 25-13.
In the seond game Centre never trailed, led 4-1, 10-2, 13-4 and 18-6 before sealing the triangular championship with a 25-12 victory.
"I’d say overall, consistency," Burhoop said of the strength Tuesday evening. "Our passes were where the setter could handle it. Our hitters finished and neither one of the teams blocked well against us, in fact a lot of times they didn’t block so our hitters found open holes and they saw the court well. We have to continue to do that."
Hope defeated Solomon 25-17, 26-24 in the final match of the evening.
Hope is off until next Tuesday night when they will another Wheat State triangular at Elyria Christian with White City. The Lady Gorillas are also off until next Tuesday when they will also play another Wheat State triangular at Goessel with Little River. Centre, meanwhile, is back in action this Saturday when they compete in a bigger school tournament at Marion.
"They can be as good as they want but they haven’t proven that and they know it," Burhoop said. "Tonight was a positive step. We are going to go back and practice like heck."