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The La Plata Warriors volleyball team continued its rampage of the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference on Thursday night as it hosted Huntingtown.
Without senior middle hitter Chanel Motley with an ankle injury, La Plata head coach Catherine Lavery made some adjustments by putting her daughter Maggie in the middle and moved a few other players around.
Once La Plata got into a rhythm after the first set, it was all golden as it dominated the net and secured the eventual sweep over the Hurricanes by scores of 25-20, 25-20 and 25-18.
The Warriors (9-0, 7-0 SMAC) have earned a sweep in eight of their nine matches, only losing one set all season in a home victory over Sept. 19.
La Plata hosted McDonough on Tuesday, a match that finished too late for inclusion in this edition, and is now off until Monday when it travels to Chopticon for a match at 5:30 p.m. After Tuesday, the Warriors have four matches left in the regular season in search of clinching their second SMAC crown in three years.
Huntingtown, who was without outside hitter Kiley Bauer and middle hitter Chelsea Ireland, battled in each set, but could not finish out strong as La Plata’s hitting and defense took over towards the end of each set.
“We got into a rhythm, we were a little off. Huntingtown didn’t have their middle either, so it made things interesting,” Catherine Lavery said. “We got strong as the game went on, but their libero [Rachel Powell] and setter [Ally Harrington] were very good. We just made some adjustments and our confidence got better as the match went on.”
Maggie Lavery collected a match-high 15 kills and also added five aces and three blocks for the Warriors. Junior hitter Caitlin Simmons added 13 kills in the win.
“Yes we are starting to peak,” Catherine Lavery said. “We are getting in a nice rhythm and we are getting stronger and better each match. Once we get Chanel back we can go to our normal lineup, she makes up real strong, she’s a great middle for us.”
La Plata jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first set, but the Hurricanes clawed back to within 16-15 off back-to back aces from Sydney Bosmans. The Warriors then went up 19-15 and 23-19 to finish the set off.
“We are just taking one match at a time and we’ve been fortunate to come out on top in all of them so far,” said La Plata hitter Desiree Proffitt, who collected seven kills and eight digs. “We really wanted to be aggressive at the net and pick our spots.”
Set 2 was tight early on, but senior hitter Faith Laidley’s two big kills over the net pushed La Plata’s lead to 19-13, and the hosts didn’t look back in the five-point victory.
Laidley finished with 10 kills, 10 digs and four aces.
“We lost a couple of our seniors from last season, but the younger girls are getting in the mix and we really have been communicating well and playing as a team,” Laidley said. “It’s all about confidence and that’s what we have. Every match we learn something new and in practice we work on execution.”
The Warriors did not let up in the third set, taking a 13-10 lead and extending it to 20-12. Isa Hernandez cut the La Plata lead to 21-17, but it wasn’t enough as the visitors ran out of gas in the end.
“In the last set, we struggled a little bit more and has issues with being patient,” Huntingtown head coach Felicia Hall said. “We had a lot of errors on serve-receive, La Plata really served aggressively, [Maggie Lavery] was really aggressive at the net and we just had some breakdowns. The first two sets could’ve went either way and I think in the third we just fell apart.”
Outside hitter Taylor Doolan registered a team-high six kills for the Hurricanes, while middle hitter Taylor Hagen added five kills.
La Plata 3, Huntingtown 0
Huntingtown 20 20 18
La Plata 25 25 25