The Swanton Volleyball team began the 2015 season in impressive fashion by sweeping Maumee in straight sets 3-0, winning each set by a double digit margin, 25-13, 25-15 and 25-12 on Saturday at home.
Senior Kyleigh Ramlow set the tone for the entire match in the first set by reeling off 11 straight points on her serve to break an early 3-3 tie and give the Bulldogs a commanding 14-3 advantage.
“It’s always nice when a server can go on a run like that and put pressure on their defense,” remarked Swanton coach Kyle Borer.
The Panthers kept battling but could pull no closer than eight points at 18-10 before the Dogs outscored them 7-3 to wrap up the first set.
The second set was close early as well with the teams even at five each before Swanton began to take control at the net. Heather Williams, who would lead everyone with 28 assists for the match, set up the strong front line of Claire Leidigh, Cydney Christensen and Julia Smith for kills that allowed the Bulldogs to slowly pull away.
They scored nine of the next 11 points for a 14-7 lead then slowly and methodically padded that margin for the 25-15 win.
In the final set the teams again found themselves in an early deadlock, again with five points apiece. This time it was senior Karah Kohlman, following Ramlow’s example, that served up a 6-0 run to give Swanton some breathing room at 11-5. The Swanton scoring burst seemed to be too much for Maumee to bounce back from as the Dogs kept the pressure on, increasing their lead to 19-7 to essentially put the set and the match away.
“We played really today,” said Ramlow after the match. “As long as we play like we know how to play we should have a wonderful season.”
“We scrimmaged them (Maumee) about a week and a half ago in two sets and split,” said Borer. “So it was nice to come back, knowing what they had and the size that they had in the front row, to come out and play as strong as we did.”
Statistically, the Bulldog leaders were Leidigh with 10 kills, Taylor with 14 digs, Ramlow with 15 points and Christensen with three blocks.
Swanton opens up NWOAL play at home tonight against defending champion Evergreen, then stays at home on Thursday to take on Delta. Game times are 7 p.m.
Bill O’Connell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org