Published in The News-Herald
September 22, 2021
After it started the season on an eight-match win streak, the Kenston volleyball team dropped its past four matches. The Bombers looked to get back to their winning ways when they welcomed Western Reserve Conference for Madison on Sept. 21.
After they split the first two sets, Kenston dominated the final two frames to take the match, 3-1. The Bombers improved to 9-4 and 4-0 in the WRC, while Madison fell to 5-4 and 2-3 on the season.
The schedule recently has been a challenge for the Bombers, as three of the four teams Kenston has played were ranked in the state poll by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association. Coach Christian Jolley knew that it would be a challenge for his team and showed them what they needed to work on as a team.
“The caliber of teams we were playing was tough, and we knew that going in,” Jolley said. “Kirtland is a tough team, and we played five hard sets with Beaumont last night. The past two games, we’ve started to get back to our core values like hustling on defense and not breaking down mentally.”
The first set saw Kenston get back to what it did best, as they rattled off long rallies and took eight straight points, led by a pair of aces by Maria Insana and kills by Anne Marie Lemons and Peyeton Pampush in the stretch.
But the second set saw Madison respond quickly, as it won 12 out of 13 points to take the second set. While some other players got to see the court in the second set, Jolley saw his team slip into the habits it had developed in its losing streak.
“We did try out some things with the lineup,” Jolley said. “We wanted to get some kids a bit of rest if we could, and that sort of took us out mentally. We let them get on top and slowed down on the defensive side of things.”
After they dropped the second set, the Bombers responded in the second set with the front line trio of Lemons, Pampush and Julia Sell as they took advantage of assists provided by their teammates. Their play led them to strong showings in the final two sets to get back in the win collum.
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