Lady ‘Hawks Drop Second Game of Double-Header

The Lady Demons, while not a tall team, showed precise, polished play Aug. 30, developed over the four years the senior-heavy team had played together.  While the Lady Redhawks played their hearts out in the final match of the home double-header, the experienced play of the Demons was a bit too much….but just a bit.

Demons’ coach Jessica Mullins expected to get some experience from this non-conference game for her girls’ hitting, rotations and for the girls to get the maximum amount of hands on the ball.  She welcomed the much taller Redhawks because of the opportunity to learn to execute against taller players and concentrate on serving and execution among the defensive players.

Westwood assistant varsity and head JV coach Cigi (pronounced “SeeGee”) Kuhlmann said that we need to “control the play and play our game.  We need to depend on our hitters for points.”

The first game began with L-E jumping out to a five point lead based on the team’s ability to jump serve.  Once the Westwood defense got the hang of returning the jump serves, they started scoring at the net on the strength of middle blockers and hitters, principally Journee English, Taylor Grant and Kelsey Keesee.  At mid-game, Westwood cut the Demon’s lead to 13-12.

Westwood was not the only team to adapt to the opposition’s strengths.  The Demons were able to neutralize the height of the Redhawks’ blockers by off-speed returns over the outstretched arms of the tall athletes.  Despite the off-speed moves, Jamila Minor hit an impressive kill straight down against three Demon defenders at the net.

Despite better play than they showed against Brookland-Cayce, the Redhawks lost the first game 25-18, largely due to the Demons’ depth at the setter position and superior blocking against the taller opponents.

Game two had the same result, but a completely different story.  The Demons were still able to neutralize the height of the Redhawks by hitting over the blockers.  The Redhawks had a bit of bad luck as the lights went out in the gym just as Westwood setter Jordan Jones apparently scored on a hit.  Unfortunately, but fairly, the official called for the point to be replayed.

Westwood was able to control the pace for most of the game and pulled out to a 13-8 lead.  Among other things, two serves into the net caused the Demons to pull even 15-15.  Ultimately the senior-heavy Demons were able to win the second game 25-20, and with that the match.

Westwood head coach Amanda Kruysman said she was very proud of her girls, having made it a close match against the Demons, the fourth ranked team in the state.

“We played a heck of a ball game,” Kruysman said. “Next we have to push the pass, as our talented hitters can’t do anything without good passing.”

The ‘Hawks play in the Hillcrest tournament Sept. 8, then take on Blythewood Sept. 10.