FISHERSVILLE — Wilson Memorial’s first foray into its Shenandoah District volleyball schedule Tuesday night turned out to be just as dominating as the nondistrict matches as the Green Hornets easily swept out the slumping Stuarts Draft Cougars 25-8, 25-17, 25-18.
The sweep was Wilson’s eighth in 10 matches. The only team to win any games off the Hornets was Western Albemarle, which forced two five-game matches before losing both.
While the Hornets are rolling merrily along, Stuarts Draft is engulfed in an abyss after a fast start to the season. The Cougars are now riding a five-match losing streak, including their first two in district play.
Wilson (10-0, 1-0) did suffer a potential setback when sophomore Ciarra Minor rolled her right ankle near the near of the first game and did not return.
Minor’s absence forced Wilson head coach Lauren Grove to shuffle her rotation, which disrupted the Hornets somewhat in the final two games.
“It was a good way to open the district schedule, but certainly not the injury,” said Grove, who has had to endure her share of injuries to key players the last two years, including losing Cassidy Davis to an ACL in the postseason last season.
“Without Minor, I had to change the rotation,” Grove said. “We were playing girls next to different people and in different positions. You can’t do that on the fly. We lost our rhythm and flow for a while after the injury.”
The Hornets had nothing but rhythm and flow in the dominating first game. Senior Paris Hutchinson set the tone with a kill on the match’s first point, and then reeled off nine straight points at the service line, including three aces.
Of Draft’s eight points in the opening game, only one came on the offensive end off a kill from Kayleigh Johnson.
“We wanted to control the tempo from the start,” Grove said. “We did a great job getting the balls up.”
The Cougars enjoyed their first leads early in the second game before Wilson surged to an 11-6 margin. Draft battled back for a 12-11 advantage behind two aces from Emily Link before Hutchinson ripped three straight aces during 6-0 run that put the Hornets in control at 17-12.
Draft (4-6, 0-2) took a quick 2-0 lead in the third game after two Wilson errors, but the Hornets again roared back in front on the strength of an 8-1 surge, and never trailed again.
The Cougars managed to slice the deficit to 20-18, but Wilson scored the final five points off three aces from freshman Allison Sykes and Davis’ match-clinching kill.
Davis finished with 10 kills and 14 digs, while Hutchinson had another stellar all-around performance with seven kills, 13 assists, six aces and eight digs. Olivia Bower added 14 assists, and Sykes had five aces and eight digs. Laura-Kate Major contributed 14 digs.
Draft head coach Kamron Johnson is left searching for an end to her team’s struggles.
“We just have to keep working hard,” she said. “We need to work on certain things and do our jobs. If we do that, I know things will turn around.”
Link paced the Cougars with five kills, while Hadley May had three kills and five digs. Taylor Slaven recorded five assists.
Both teams continue district play Thursday. The Hornets host Staunton, while the Cougars head down U.S. 340 for a visit at Riverheads, which will be licking its wounds from its first loss of the season Tuesday at the hands of Fort Defiance.
In the jayvee match, the Cougars rallied for a 21-25, 25-18, 15-7 victory.