By Eugenio Torrens
Steinbrenner volleyball coach Jennifer Graham warned her players’ parents there might be some late matches because of the stiff competition her team was going to face this season.
The Warriors’ contest against Wharton (11-2) on Sept. 27 appeared like one of those matches, but Steinbrenner (14-3) made quick work of the Wildcats, dismissing them 25-12, 25-14, 25-11.
“Every single person on the court did their job,” Graham said. “Not a lot of ups and downs, which is what we’re used to. It was just solid play.”
Warriors senior outside hitter Miranda Powell had a team-high 15 kills, while senior libero Cary Anne Bame led the way with 17 digs.
Graham praised Powell for playing with her head instead of just smacking the ball around.
“That was by far her smartest game she’s ever played,” Graham said. “It’s not about kill, kill, kill — it’s about putting the ball in certain spots.”
Powell laughed in agreement when she heard Graham’s thoughts.
“I tried to play better decisions, because this is a better team, and they’re very good defensively — you just have to find their spots,” Powell said. “I was not expecting to dominate as well as we did.”
It was the second win against stiff competition, as Steinbrenner defeated Durant on the road in a five-set match the previous night.
Sophomore setter Casey McLean said they knew the Wildcats had defeated Durant previously and used that as motivation. The fact that some girls on Steinbrenner and Wharton know each other from club volleyball was added incentive.
“One of our main, main goals tonight that coach Graham said was to focus,” McLean said. “No matter who you’re playing — if it’s your friend, if you have no clue who they are — you treat them completely as equal. It’s all business. After, it’s fun to beat your friends.”
Wharton coach Eric Barber didn’t enjoy himself as much as the Warriors. It was only the second loss for his team, though both came in straight sets. He said his Wildcats had trouble with Steinbrenner’s serving.
“They served lasers at us, and our girls just didn’t pass the ball,” Barber said. “It’s hard to win games when you can’t pass the ball and service receive.”
Steinbrenner hosted Chamberlain on Oct. 3, but results were not available at press time. The Warriors travels to Gaither on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Wharton hosts Newsome on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Both matches start at 7:30 p.m.
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