Volleyball Team Beats Taylor;Fall To Argylls In Sectional Championship

Posted on October 16, 2017 in Fall Sports, Volleyball

By CHUCK LANDIS – clandis@chronicle-tribune.com
FAIRMOUNT — Bob Holloway said his Madison-Grant volleyball team has been labeled as “boring” by even some of the parents.
Yet, their temperament might have led to a sectional volleyball championship Saturday evening.
The Argylls came back from a deficit in the first set and pulled out a three-game sweep of cross-county rival Oak Hill in the Class 2A Sectional 39 final on their court. It was their 15th title and seventh since 2009.
Sloane Stewart led the Argylls with 23 kills against Oak Hill and had 56 for the day which included the Argylls’ four-set victory over Eastern in the semifinals. Oak Hill advanced with a three-set sweep of Taylor.
“It’s been a little bit different team and they are the most laid back and nice team we’ve ever had,” Holloway said. “They are not loud and and even the music they play is not amped up. They are very subdued and close to vest and great students and people, but they don’t show very much emotion.”
But after falling behind 14-11 in a back-and-forth first set against Oak Hill, the Argylls kept their emotions in check and before long had it tied 14-all and had momentum. The run ended with eight straight points and Madison-Grant continued to pull away for a 25-16 victory.
The next two sets were one-sided with the Argylls rolling to 25-14 and 25-9 victories to close out the Golden Eagles.
“I do think it helps us in close sets because we don’t have a lot of peaks and valleys that emotional teams have,” Holloway said. “Earlier against Eastern we played poorly, but we won two sets 25-23 and they just stayed with it and don’t get too high or too low.”
Madison-Grant (26-7) had won the first set 25-12 against Eastern and then the next three were struggles, with a 25-23 win in the second before dropping the third 19-25 and then another 25-23 in the clinching fourth set.
Oak Hill, which finished 15-16, had little trouble with Taylor, posting a 25-7, 25-17, 25-6 sweep. After coming out with good energy against Madison-Grant, the Eagles could never get untracked once Madison-Grant put pressure on their passers with its service.
“I think we started out good, but volleyball is a tough mental game and I don’t think our girls came prepared tonight,” Oak Hill interim coach Anne Fagan said. “Madison-grant is a good team and we made a lot of silly mistakes that gave them the momentum and we couldn’t fight back from it.”
Holloway said the service didn’t allow Oak Hill to run its offense, and the toughest servers were Brooke Butcher with four aces and Carley Bramel with three aces.
“They have two really athletic middles,” Holloway said, referring to Taylor Westgate and Ashlynn Transier. “If they don’t get swings they are going to have a difficult time, and I thought our serving took them out of what they wanted to do.”
Stewart spent a large part of the first set stuck in the back row on rotation, but when she returned to the front the Eagles weren’t able to contain the 6-foot senior. Besides her offense, Stewart was credited with seven blocks.
Mia Stewart, Sloane’s younger sister, had 11 kills and six blocks, while setter Lexi Crouse had 29 assists and five kills. Maddie Evans had 22 digs and Butcher had 14 digs.
“Sloane’s obviously a big part of what we do,” Holloway said. “I expect her to play well, and she did a great job. Mia didn’t play well this morning, but I thought she played great tonight and she had some blocks quite a few kills.”
Fagan said the Eagles began to realize their potential following the coaching change and looks for big things from them next year.
“It’s sad that we finished like this because we had a great finish to season,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to watching them play next year, and we’ll have a bunch of seniors and hopefully that experience will come to play.”
Madison-Grant advances to play Alexandria on Saturday in first round regional play at Taylor.
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