Cats net Cadets: Waterford sweeps Fort Frye in volleyball

WATERFORD – Waterford continued its recent run of success on the volleyball court Wednesday evening in a 3-0 sweep of rival Fort Frye at Waterford Elementary School.

The Lady Wildcats trailed at some point in every set, but were able to rebound and win each set by scores of 25-21, 25-20 and 25-19.

“I think anytime we play each other it’s gonna be competitive,” said Waterford head coach Jandy Drayer.

“You can always guarantee that they’re (Fort Frye) gonna bring their A-game when they come. It’s always fun to watch. It’s a great atmosphere for us because it’s a tournament-like atmosphere.”

The ‘Cats were led by stellar performances from seniors Haley McCutcheon, Alyssa Miller and sophomore Dani Drayer.

McCutcheon led the team with 13 points and five aces and added nine kills and 11 digs. Drayer had a team-high 11 kills and also contributed seven digs. Miller was all over the court for Waterford, posting a game-high 31 assists along with eight points, two aces and four digs.

“She’s got awesome hands,” Drayer said of Miller, Waterford’s setter. “She’s all over the floor. She gets to stuff and gets it somewhere where somebody can do something with it.”

Taylor Pennock led the Lady Cadets with nine kills while Megan Hesson and Bailey Thieman each had seven. Alli Hesson and Alyssa Skinner chipped in with 13 assists and 11 assists, respectively, and Lexi Skinner had a team-high 13 digs.

Fort Frye head coach Sam Skinner said Waterford was just the better team on this particular night.

“They’re five points better than us right now,” Skinner said. “We’ve got to figure out a lineup that can get us those five points and just build some girls’ confidence up. Waterford’s a tough team.

“When you play a team that attacks as well as they do, you have to make them work at it and we have to get the ball down a little better.”

While the match was a sweep in Waterford’s favor, it was far from one-sided.

Tied up at 5-5 in the opening set, Megan Pennock gave Fort Frye the lead with a kill. Up 7-6, Alli Hesson assisted Taylor Pennock on a kill to give the Cadets a two-point advantage.

Waterford responded with four straight points, thanks to a kill by McCutcheon and an ace by Miller, to go on top 10-8. The Wildcats built a 15-9 lead, forcing Fort Frye to call a timeout. The Cadets responded well to the break, scoring four straight points, capped by a block by Natalie Smith, to cut it to a 15-13 deficit, forcing Waterford into a timeout of its own.

Later, a kill by Laura Hill put Waterford up 19-16. McCutcheon and Maddy Sury soon followed with consecutive to kills to make it a 22-18 game.

Taylor Hilverding followed with a kill of her own off an assist from Miller to force another Cadet timeout. Two kills by Megan Hesson cut it to 24-21, but Hill finished off the set with a kill to put Waterford up 1-0 in the match.

It looked like the Cadets would even things up in the second set, jumping out to leads of 5-1 and 8-3. Waterford had other plans, however, going on an 8-3 run of its own to tie things up at 11-all.

A kill by Drayer put Waterford up for the first time in the set and landed another kill later to make it 15-12.

Megan Hesson got Fort Frye back into it with a kill to make the score 20-18, but the Wildcats took five of the next seven points, led by kills from McCutcheon and Hilverding, to win the second set.

Fort Frye got off to another good start in the third set, as Alyssa Skinner assisted Taylor Pennock on back-to-back kills to put the Cadets up 10-6. A kill by McCutcheon and an ace by Miller would help Waterford tie it up at 10-10 before a kill by Megan Hesson put the Cadets back on top.

Waterford took the next four points on a kill by Hill, a block by Sury, a kill by Drayer and an ace by McCutcheon to re-claim the lead.

“We’ve got so many kids that have so many different things that they can do,” Jandy Drayer said.

“We have some very versatile kids.”

The lead increased to 17-11 after a block by Drayer and another ace by McCutcheon.

Thieman recorded a kill which cut it to 18-13, but Hill quickly responded with a kill to bring the momentum back in Waterford’s favor.

Fort Frye called a timeout with the score at 20-13. Smith and Hilverding then traded kills to make it 21-14. Later an ace by Megan Hesson made it 24-19, but the Wildcats clinched it on the next point to complete the sweep.

Both teams have big matches coming up within the next week. Waterford (7-2 overall, 5-0 TVC-Hocking) hosts Eastern Thursday. The Eagles are currently tied with Waterford for first place in the league.

Fort Frye (7-3 overall, 3-1 PVC) will also be at home Thursday evening for its first match on the newly renovated gym floor. The Cadets will host Shenandoah in a key conference matchup.