Mohawk makes quick work of Woodmore, will face Arcadia
Division IV volleyball
SYCAMORE — Getting ready to serve, Mohawk junior Marah Gillig had to search for the ball after it skipped underneath the bleachers.
That was essentially the biggest difficulty the Warriors faced on Tuesday.
Gillig served seven points in a row during Game 1 to help Mohawk sprint past Woodmore 25-7, 25-16, 25-14 in Division IV sectional semifinal action.
“It is always good to have a home tournament match,” Mohawk coach Eric Hoover said. “It makes it a little more exciting. You feel a little more comfortable in your first match.”
With the win, fourth-seeded Mohawk improves to 15-7 overall and will face third-seeded Arcadia (19-4) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at New Riegel High School.
“I knew Woodmore’s record and who they played,” Hoover said. “Their size was the biggest concern. They have good size — certainly bigger than us. They had three 6-foot girls out there.”
The Warriors scored the first three points of the match and never trailed in the opening game. Five straight errors by the Wildcats (9-14) extended the Mohawk lead to 12-3 and forced Woodmore into its first timeout.
Later, Gillig took over serving and a kill and block by Catherine Klopp made it 21-5. Klopp added a block, Tess Weinandy put down one of her seven kills, and a serving error by Woodmore gave Mohawk the early lead.
“We came out with good intensity and played really well in that first game,” Hoover said. “It was very efficient with no mistakes. We let Woodmore make mistakes. We did a good job of keeping the pressure on them.”
The second game saw back-and-forth action for the first time all night. The Wildcats had a lead at just 2-1, but Game 2 was tied at 9, and Mohawk led just 11-10 just a few points later.
But, as all good teams do, the Warriors kicked it back into high gear. Five straight points, capped by an Alexa Konkle kill, made it 16-10. Mohawk extended the lead to 23-12 with another run of five consecutive points. Klopp smacked a kill and Woodmore committed an error to give the Warriors the dominating lead.
“We traded points with Woodmore in the first half of the second game,” Hoover said. “We probably mentally relaxed a little bit after the score of the first game. They set the ball really high, which you do not see much any more. I think our blocking timing was off due to that.”
The Wildcats again started a game strong, opening Game 3 with a 5-1 lead. Mohawk chipped away and took its first lead of the game at 9-8 after a kill by Weinandy. That was the beginning of seven straight points by the Warriors for a 14-8 lead.
Mohawk continued to attack from all angles, winning points in bunches to put away any thoughts of a longer night. Emma Thiery registered a kill and Paityn Clouse tallied a block as the Warriors took care of business at home.
“Mohawk is a very solid team,” Woodmore coach Ron Nabors said. “They certainly took advantage of our mistakes. Unfortunately, we struggled. Their attacks were coming from several directions and we were slow getting to our blocking assignments.”
Clouse led Mohawk with 10 kills and eight digs. Klopp tallied six kills and four blocks while Konkle had 19 assists, four digs and three aces. Gillig, Ellie Shaw, and Kendyll Gurney each contributed four digs.
“We played Arcadia, so we have information on them,” said Hoover, referencing a four-game win by Mohawk on Sept. 14. “They had an outstanding year. They have at least three really good offensive hitters. We have to bring the energy again.”