BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MHS VOLLEYBALL — Maumee 3, Springfield 0
After winning a district title last year, expectations were higher than they’ve been in the past heading into this season for the Maumee volleyball team.
After an up-and-down start to the season, the Panthers put together a dominating performance that was a welcome sight as they dispatched league foe Springfield 3-0 (25-14, 25-9, 25-16).
It was Maumee’s first Northern Lakes League win of the season, moving them to 1-3 in the league and 5-4 overall.
“We’ve been emphasizing in practice the need to start strong with some of these teams that can surprise you,” Maumee coach Lindsay Vannett said. “… It was a great first NLL win. We were pretty much in control of the whole match, and that’s something we haven’t done in a few matches. Even with our win over Clay, we weren’t in control from the beginning. So to have that feeling from the beginning and getting into that groove is something we really needed.”
Those high expectations come with increased pressure, something Vannett has repeatedly said the team needs to adjust to and overcome. At least for one night, the Panthers met that pressure head-on.
Add to that the unique circumstances surrounding reduced training and scrimmages in the offseason, and this makes for a singularly interesting season.
“We are viewing it differently because you can get a phone call tomorrow that so-and-so shut down. Things can change on a daily basis,” Vannett said. “The issue with records is come tournament time, that’s all people see. The records matter. It doesn’t matter who you played or how well you played, it’s just the record.”
Against the Blue Devils, the Panthers made it look easy. After winning a lopsided first set, they roared out to a 14-1 lead in the second set before Springfield won a few points with the match firmly in Maumee’s control.
On the night, Brynn Brown paced the squad with 14 kills, 11 digs, two aces, and two blocks, while her 13 assists were second on the team.
Jolie Sobb had nine kills, two blocks and 11 digs, and Katelyn Owens added six kills, two aces and two blocks.
Camy Wedge led the team with 14 assists, adding eight digs and two aces. The sophomore eclipsed 500 career assists in the win, now sitting with 504 in 122 sets played.
Avery Lewis added two blocks, and Jessica Roper continued her improved play with 10 digs and six assists.
“It’s hard when we look back at those losses,” Vannett said. “We very easily on the flipside could be 9-0, with a couple little tweaks, a couple little changes. The what-ifs is something you could evaluate all day. You can’t get those losses back.”
Maumee 3, Whitmer 0
Maumee got off to a hot start and didn’t let up in sweeping host Whitmer 3-0 (25-9, 25-16, 25-21) in a non-league volleyball match.
The Panthers won their third straight game to improve to 6-4 overall.
Brynn Brown led the Panthers with 11 kills, 17 assists and three blocks. The senior added eight digs.
Junior Jolie Sobb tied a career high with six service aces. She also had 10 kills and a team-high 13 digs.
Sophomores Katelyn Owens (five kills, two blocks) and Camy Wedge (six digs, 12 assists) had strong games, and senior libero Kylie Miller added 12 assists and six digs.
The Panthers improved to 3-3 on the road with the win.
Maumee 3, Napoleon 0
Don’t look now, but Maumee volleyball is on a winning streak.
The Panthers went on the road and beat Napoleon 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-19) to move to 7-4 overall and 2-3 in the Northern Lakes League. The win was Maumee’s fourth straight overall and second straight in the NLL.
Four different players had at least five kills for the Panthers, led by Brynn Brown’s 16 and Katelyn Owens’ 11. Jolie Sobb had seven kills, and Avery Lewis added five.
Brown also had 11 assists, five digs and three blocks. Sobb had nine digs and two blocks.
Jessica Roper connected on three service aces.
Camy Wedge led the way with 17 assists and 11 digs. Libero Kylie Miller added nine digs and five assists.