Fort Frye volleyball handles Warren in four sets

VINCENT – It may have said “property of Warren High School” on it, but by the time Fort Frye juniors Megan Hesson and Taylor Pennock left the gym there was little doubt the net belonged to the Lady Cadets.

Together, Hesson and Pennock had more kills by themselves than Warren managed as a team as Fort Frye powered its way to a four game victory over the Lady Warriors in Vincent Monday evening, 27-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20.

“I was really happy with the way we played (Monday) night. That’s the best we’ve played in a while,” Hesson said. “I’m so happy. This was one of our tops games we wanted to win and we got it.”

Effectively controlling the net, the Lady Cadets left little doubt as to what the outcome of the match would be as they amassed 52 kills as a team, nearly double the total managed by the Lady Warriors.

Hesson and Pennock combined for 31 kills, four more than the 10 Warren girls that stepped on the court could collect.

“We attacked well. We started finding some holes with their defense and we were able to exploit them,” said Fort Frye volleyball coach Sam Skinner.

While they may have staked their claim on the net that resides at Warren High School, the match was not exactly easy for the Lady Cadets, who found themselves locked in an early battle with the Lady Warriors.

Through the first 52 points scored in the opening game of the night neither team could build an advantage larger than three points, and that didn’t come until the score was 24-21 in favor of the Lady Warriors when Fort Frye failed to return a spike over the net.

Instead of faltering and giving up the game point, Fort Frye would tally six of the next seven points to win the first game 27-25 on a kill from Hesson, one of her seven kills in the opening game.

“The first game was huge for us to fight back there right at the end and get that win,” Skinner said. “Winning that first one made our night easier.”

Holding a one game advantage over Warren, Fort Frye capitalized on the Lady Warriors early struggles defensively to maintain the momentum going into the second game of the night.

As the Lady Warriors struggled with their serve-receive and passing, Fort Frye cruised out to an early 7-2 lead on a kill from Pennock and led 9-3 when she again found the court with a spike.

Trailing by six to start the second game, the Lady Warriors could never find their way back into the contest as they managed to score consecutive points just three times in the second game, ultimately falling 25-20 on an ace from Jordan Schilling.

“We had a lot of passing errors, and everything starts with the pass,” said Warren volleyball coach Michelle Tyo. “They wanted it more. They played a much better game than us.”

Staked to a 2-0 lead, the Lady Cadets found they couldn’t close out the contest as Warren found some life in the night’s third game.

After struggling defensively early on, the Lady Warriors found their rhythm in the third game as they were able to effectively pass the ball to setup the offense. Falling behind the majority of the first two games, Warren trailed just twice in the third game of the night and never after the Lady Cadets held a 6-5 advantage on another ace from Schilling.

Warren took the lead for good, 7-6, when senior setter Natalie Knowlton tipped the ball over the Fort Frye defense. That was followed by an ace from senior Kaylee Higgins and the Lady Cadets would trail by as many as six before falling 25-20 in the third game.

“Our girls had a little bit of a letdown that third game,” Skinner said.

What worked so effectively for the Lady Warriors in the night’s third game went missing in action in the fourth, and Hesson and Pennock once again returned control of the net to the Lady Cadets, who had six different girls record kills including five with at least five.

“You just have to read the blockers and go around them. I think that’s what we did really well,” Hesson said of the team’s hitting.

After taking the third game, the Lady Warriors never led in the final contest of the night and trailed by as many as seven. Subsequent to the game being tied at 4-4 when Fort Frye spiked the ball out of bounds, the Lady Warriors would manage just six of the next 20 points as the Lady Cadets’ all-around performance quickly dictated the outcome.

“It was hard to get anything by them. They’re a scrappy team,” Tyo said. “When we did put it down, they had some amazing digs.”

Leading 23-16, the Lady Cadets hit a bit of a rough patch in the final moments of the match as Warren was able to rattle off five of the next six points to close to within four, 24-20. Warren’s effort at the comeback bid was quickly ended when Hesson pounded a hard spike off a pair of Lady Warrior blockers to set the final score.

“I thought the girls played well together,” Skinner said. “After a tough loss on Saturday (to Buckeye Trail) they came together as a group.”