MOUNT VERNON — One of West Delaware’s volleyball trademarks is floor defense.
Now, it appears the Hawks have the net defense to match it.
Coach Brett Mather calls it a “swing block.” And it helped swing an early, important match the Hawks’ way. Class 4A fourth-ranked West Delaware swept 3A No. 1 Mount Vernon, 25-23, 25-11, 25-23, in a Wamac Conference East Division encounter Thursday night at Mount Vernon High School.
“Last year, our block wasn’t as strong,” senior Allison Collier said. “Now, I think this helps us get a little higher.”
The Hawks (5-1 overall, 1-0 division) were their usual pesky selves on the floor, holding Mount Vernon (2-1, 0-1) ace-less throughout the match.
“We serve-received really well,” Mather said. “That gave us a lot of opportunities.”
Mount Vernon played its best stretch at the very end, cutting a 23-17 deficit to 24-23 in the final set before Kinley Kolbet’s kill clinched the outcome.
Kolbet led the Hawks with 10 kills. Collier and Ava Hauser added nine apiece, and the visitors were simply the more balanced outfit.
“We knew (Mount Vernon) was going to be really good,” said Hawks setter Macey Kleitsch, who distributed 27 assists. “We couldn’t let up. If we lost a point, we had to get the next one.
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West Delaware grabbed momentum late in the first set. A five-point run gave the Hawks a 23-20 advantage, then Hauser’s kill ended the set.
The Hawks carried that through a dominant second set.
“Our greatest issue was composure,” Mount Vernon Coach Maggie Willems said. “We weren’t able to play at the level we are capable of. West Delaware was better at every phase of the game tonight that we were.”
And surprisingly, that included blocking. Kolbet collected five blocks, and Collier added four.
The Hawks led throughout the final set, and a five-point surge put them in command at 19-13. Then they weathered the storm at the end. Mount Vernon erased four match points before Kolbet’s winner.
Mount Vernon’s Lauren Schrock led all attackers with 15 kills, but only one other Mustang (Camryn Ellyson, six) had more than three.
WEST DELAWARE 3, MOUNT VERNON 0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-23)
At Mount Vernon
Serving: West Delaware 65-73 (.890), Mount Vernon 53-59 (.898).
Aces: West Delaware 9 (Macey Kleitsch, Sydney Morris, Allison Collier 3), Mount Vernon 0.
Kills: West Delaware 37 (Kinley Kolbet 10), Mount Vernon 28 (Lauren Schrock 15).
Assists: West Delaware 33 (Kleitsch 27), Mount Vernon 26 (Summer Brand 25).
Blocks: West Delaware 9 (Kolbet 5), Mount Vernon 4 (Natalie Welch 2).
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