By Jeremy Schneider
It’s bound to get tougher from here, but for one night at least the Maumee volleyball team cruised to an easy tournament win over Scott.
The Panthers opened OHSAA Division II sectional play with a 25-6, 25-4, 25-2 win over the Bulldogs. Maumee will face Lima Shawnee for a sectional title at Bryan.
The win wasn’t simply a way to fill up the stat book, though the Panthers did that. Coach Lindsay Vannett said there were plenty of things for the Panthers to focus on and clean up before proceeding further in the tournament.
“We also had a couple of things to focus on, like running our free ball plays we’ve been instituting, getting some of our hitters outside of their main swing areas … just some things we were able to focus on and clean up,” she said.
After closing out the regular season against Perrysburg, the Panthers began using the whiteboard in the locker room to establish goals, both team and individual. Vannett said it’s a way to keep the players motivated and focused on each practice and match.
“What they should be doing right now in the locker room is establishing if they achieved those goals,” Vannett said after the Scott match. “That’s a way to keep them focused in these games.”
The Panthers set season highs in numerous categories, including hitting percentage (.744) and aces (34).
Brynn Brown and Jolie Sobb each had nine kills, with Brown adding seven aces and six assists.
Camy Wedge and Chloe Bunce cracked double figures in aces, each serving 10. Katelyn Owens also had five aces to go along with six kills.
Beth Brady paced the Panthers with eight assists.
While Vannett knows the road gets progressively more difficult as her team moves deeper into the postseason, she said her team controls its own destiny as well.
“As I tell the girls nightly, if we handle our side of the net and control what we can control, people are going to have to come beat us,” she said. “We’ll beat ourselves before somebody comes and beats us.”