STANARDSVILLE — The William Monroe volleyball team spent 13 hours on the court last Saturday during Fluvanna County’s annual jamboree.
Coach Leah Wimmer said the extra time on the court proved helpful Tuesday night in the Greene Dragons’ 25-17, 25-16, 25-22 home victory over Orange County.
William Monroe (3-4) tallied 11 aces and 19 kills and dominated from the service line and the net against the Fighting Hornets.
Mara Woolford registered seven aces and six kills to lead a balanced Monroe attack. The sophomore outside hitter seemed to come up with the big point in each game to put the Greene Dragons over the top.
“I’ve had Mara on our team a couple of years and she’s kind of like a silent weapon,” Wimmer said. “She’s very quiet when she’s on the court and she’s very humble. When she goes out there, she’s very smart and aggressive and she’s got a lot of power, so she’s able to find those holes, and find those spots and her speed behind the ball makes it a little more difficult [to return], and she’s worked extremely hard to get to that point.”
In the first set, Orange County trimmed the lead to 11-10 on Kylie Rickett’s ace, but William Monroe answered as Ava Alvarez reeled off five straight points, including a pair of aces, to give her team a 19-13 lead. Later on, Alvarez delivered a well-placed spike to give the Greene Dragons the first set, 25-17.
The second set was more of the same as William Monroe continued to dominate from the service line. Woolford had nine service points, including three aces, and chipped in a pair of kills to lead the Greene Dragons to a 25-16 win. Brianna Adderly had three kills and Ella Weaver chipped in two kills and a block to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Hornets didn’t back down and went to work in the third set to try and extend the match. Jenni Pugh had three points and two kills and Anna Kirby added two spikes as Orange County led 21-20.
“Orange has improved tremendously since last year,” Wimmer said. “They were definitely keeping us on our toes, finding our holes, so that taught us some things that we need to know for next time.”
The tide turned later on as Weaver blocked a spike attempt from Skye Smith to give William Monroe a 23-21 lead. After exchanging side outs, Woolford ended things with a cross-court spike in the far corner to end the match.
Kelsey Wheeler registered two aces and added two kills to aid the Greene Dragons’ dominance from the service line.
“Kelsey had killer serves,” Wimmer said. “That left hand and the closeness to the tape made it pretty hard to receive. We’ve been working on that pretty hard in practice. Mara was literally hitting every spot we gave her — short, deep, seams, anything. So that definitely helps us in the long run.”
Dorian Shifflett, Pugh and Kirby each had four kills to pace Orange County.
For Wimmer, Tuesday’s contest was a total team win.
“I saw a lot of camaraderie, people that maybe don’t get to play as much, coming out and stepping up and earning their spot,” she said. “I saw a lot of pride from their team being successful and that’s all I could really ask for. Everyone’s happy, everyone on the bench is cheering each other on. They are happy for one another’s success and they’re humble.”