08/17/12 — WCDS follows coach's advice in victory

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WCDS follows coach's advice in victory

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 17, 2012 1:48 PM

Stay intense.

Play consistent in the serve game.

During each timeout and bench changeover Thursday afternoon, Wayne Country Day head volleyball coach Juliet Jones reminded her team to continue doing those two things against Faith Christian-Rocky Mount.

The Chargers listened well.

Senior middle hitter Hannah Pearson pounded out a season-high 15 kills and sophomore setter Rachel Uzzell handed out 26 assists in a 25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 25-9 triumph over the Patriots.

"I'm really proud of my girls' intensity, even though it was up and down," Jones said. "The intensity did stay where it needed to be. We definitely have the skill, but at times we miss the mental toughness, but they got it back (today). That second set was kind of tough.

"Overall, I thought they did a really good job."

Wayne Country Day (2-0 overall) rolled out to a 14-2 advantage in the opening set. Pearson, Sarah Crooks and Savannah Strickland combined for four kills. Uzzell served a pair of aces and the Patriots (1-1) compounded their troubles with six unforced errors.

Faith shaved the deficit to 15-14, but two Jessica Zhou service aces put the Chargers back in command and they closed out the set.

The Patriots, who joined the Eastern Plains Independent 2-A Conference this season, evened the best-of-five match with a second-set victory. The teams combined for seven ties and four lead changes until six-foot middle hitter Carrie Lewis put WCDS away with a solo block and set-clinching kill.

"In the third set, I told them there were two goals I wanted to work on -- serve game and make better decisions," Jones said. "Sometimes the serves are going to be off. Sometimes the passes are going to be off."

Seven ties and three lead changes dictated the early stages of the third set. WCDS pushed ahead 15-14 on Bailey Creger's kill off of a solo block attempt by the Patriots' Mary Peyton Fisher.

Kills from Strickland and Crooks, and Uzzell's ace stretched the advantage to 18-14. The Patriots pulled to within 19-18, but committed two hitting errors that allowed WCDS to eventually claim set three.

Faith Christian struggled with its serve receive in the fourth set and gave up too many transition balls to WCDS. Uzzell received solid passes from her back row mates, particularly Crooks and Zhou, to set up point-scoring chances for her hitters.

"We were all communicating really good and did well together," Uzzell said. "They got the balls to me ... dug things up. (Serve receive) was better today.

"I think we did great."