- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Just like her older sisters, Westlake’s Elizabeth Ravancho knows how to impose her will on the volleyball court.
The junior showed off that ability and more with her power hitting and strong serves to help propel the Wolverines to three-set sweep over visiting Thomas Stone in a nonconference contest Tuesday night by scores of 25-11, 25-21 and 25-20.
Ravancho finished with a match-high 15 points and delivered nine aces, including three kills, which tied her with senior teammate Aliah Alcain.
It was Westlake’s first victory over Stone since 2007, when the Wolverines were a Class 3A South Region finalist that season.
“The first win of the season is great for us, and this was our first time beating Stone in a while,” said Ravancho, whose older sisters, 2008 graduate Heather and 2010 graduate Danielle, both played volleyball for Westlake. “We have this rule that if you make a mistake, you have four seconds to get better. Today, my serves were on point and I was focusing on where I was going to spot the ball, and I put it there.”
Westlake (1-2 overall) did not waste any time in the first set, exploding out to a 14-1 lead that was capped by Ravancho’s ace, one of her five during that span. It extended the lead to 18-5 and never looked back.
Set 2 was much tighter, as the Cougars (0-3) collected a 10-7 lead and went up 16-12 on a service point by Trinity McGraw.
However, senior Shanea Butler used her size and athleticism for back-to-back points over the net to spark Westlake, who later took a 18-17 lead.
“Clearly we had problems serving tonight. If we converted on those, it would’ve been a different game,” Stone head coach Danesha Gross said. “Being such a young team, we have to go back to the basics. We have to learn how to handle pressure points and finish.”
From there, the Wolverines outscored Stone 7-4 to take the second set.
The third set was another close encounter from the start. Then, with the score knotted at 12, Butler’s big hit and another Ravancho ace sparked a 6-0 run. The Wolverines carried the momentum and took a 22-16 lead to eventually close the match.
The win was also the first for Westlake head coach Brandi Muffie, a native of Pennsylvania, who is in her first season at the helm.
“Good, I’ve been waiting for this first win. The girls have a lot of talent and skill; we just had to get that winning mentality and mindset; this is very exciting and will help us overall,” Muffie said when asked how she felt about her first win with the program. “This will be a stepping stone for the rest of the season for us.”
Muffie said she was ecstatic to get some height from the girls varsity basketball team in Butler (team-high 4 kills), sophomore Alexus Willey and senior Jaelyn Brice (1 block), who all range from 5-foot-10 to 6-feet.
“When I first saw those three, I felt like I was in heaven because in the past we’ve lacked height, and having those hitters and blockers in the front really helps,” Muffie said. “They are really excited to play, and it’s really fun to watch them.”
Muffie noted what Ravancho and Alcain brings to the program.
“It’s pretty nice to have those two as leaders for us, they’ve been playing in the Westlake program for a while now,” Muffie said. “They are really good team members and are doing a good job of guiding the other girls because we have some who are fairly new on the varsity, so they are picking everyone up.”
Senior Amina Gauff had a match-high five kills to lead the Cougars in the losing effort.
Westlake traveled to McDonough on Thursday evening for a match that finished too late for inclusion into this edition, and will host Lackey at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Stone is off until Monday, when it will host SMAC power La Plata at 5:30 p.m.
Westlake 3, Thomas Stone 0
Stone 11 21 20
Westlake 25 25 25