CONNORVILLE - Nikki McEndree is pleased with all the experience her Barnesville High School volleyball team brings back this season.
What coach wouldn't be happy about that?
But she also likes is the chemistry it possesses. And it was on display for all to see during Thursday evening's sweep of Buckeye Local on the Panthers' home court.
Barnesville’s Miranda Plumly (8) prepares to throw down a shot as Buckeye Local’s Bailee Morrocco (4) gets ready to defend during Thursday evening’s match in Connorville.
''I'm really happy with how they're playing as a team and how they're coming together as a team,'' McEndree said following the 25-9, 25-10, 25-16 triumph.
''Just having the talent isn't everything. You have to be able to come together as a team and get along together. They do that well on the court.''
Layna Broomhall had 12 points and 11 assists, and Paige Huntsman recorded 10 points, 13 assists, six aces and six kills as the Shamrocks moved to 3-0.
Buckeye Local dropped to 0-2.
''Right now, it's about finding finding the right girls and putting them in the right places to make it work,'' noted first-year Panthers head coach Jeremy Millard. ''We have tons of talent and we have tons of leadership. It's just, where does it fit?''
That question is one McEndree has already answered for the most part. And, perhaps, that's what gave Barnesville the edge.
The Shamrocks looked a step ahead in almost all phases and only trailed once - early in the third game.
And, when the Panthers did make it close, Barnesville always answered, usually in a big way.
In the first game, the Shamrocks scored five straight points to grab a commanding 20-6 lead. Next, in Game 2, a 12-0 spurt turned a 5-4 game into a 17-4 lead. Finally, in the final game, Barnesville used nine straight points to turn a tie into another victory.
''I thought they played well,'' McEndree said. ''We had some mental lapses, but I'm proud of how they came back and pulled together as a team.''
Miranda Plumly added 13 kills and four points for the Shamrocks, while Sydney Ralston chipped in with six points, five kills, 10 digs and was 11 of 11 serving. Shasta Roberts scored 10 points, and libero Avery Hanlon registered 12 digs and five points.
Kylie Lovinski paced Buckeye Local with six points and five digs. Lexus Fedorko added three points and four assists, Kierstyn Czuchran had five kills and four digs, Bailee Morrocco made six digs, and Amanda Barbarossa had three assists and three digs.
The Panthers were supposed to have played Steubenville Catholic on Wednesday, but the match was postponed after heavy rains caused flooding on and surrounding the school campus.
''For us, it's really getting the mentality of not getting down on ourselves when we make mistakes,'' Millard said.
For McEndree, she's hoping her players take a successful first week and build on it.
''I'm just pleased with their overall effort,'' she said.
''It's early in the season, so I don't want to brag too much. But I'm pleased with what they've done.''
The Shamrocks also captured the junior varsity encounter, 25-17, 25-13.
St. John d. Toronto
25-23, 25-15, 25-20
BELLAIRE - Gabby Santinoceto scored 24 points, including 15 aces, as St. John swept Toronto.
Amber LaMotte added eight points (five aces) for the Irish, while Sydney Helms had 29 sets, Lindsey Froehlich registered six kills, and Jessica Alvey had four kills.
Jenna Leasure had nine kills for the Red Knights.
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