Broughton volleyball opened Cap-8 conference play with a sweep of visiting Wakefield Thursday night (25-21, 25-15, 25-11). The outside hitter trio of Tiana Butler, Katja Ehlers and Kalee Vanderhorst proved too much for the Wolverines.
In Set 1, both teams played a back-and-forth match where neither team led by more than four points. The Caps pulled away late in the set, and Butler closed that round with an ace.
The Caps (6-0, 1-0 Cap-8) came out on fire by the third set, led by the offensive performances of Vanderhorst and senior setter Kati Smith. The rapid start was too much for the Wolverines (5-3, 0-1).
“Katie (Smith) is a phenomenal setter,” Vanderhorst, a junior, said about her teammate. “She’s very good about placing the ball where she sees there’s not a blocker.”
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To start the second set, momentum was on Wakefield’s side when it jumped out to a six-point lead. After tying the game at 11, the Caps took a 16-12 lead and never trailed again. On the final point, Smith sent over the second set-ending ace of the night.
They said it
Wakefield coach Cynthia Terrell on playing defending Cap-8 champion in league opener: “I thought we did a great job considering it was Broughton. I just told them there was no reason to be down. I mean, I think they played a very good game. We just have to tweak a couple things on our part. Once they got into our heads, and if you don’t stay in a game mentally, that’s 95 percent of the game.”
Broughton coach Jim Freeman on undefeated record: “We need to keep getting better like everyone else. That’s it, I don’t care how many games we win or lose. We didn’t pass very well tonight. Our serve receive has not been what we need it to be, and we have not been able to run our offense the way we want. ...We’re lucky our two outside hitters can really bang and score points.”
Three who mattered
Erin Fox, Wakefield: The defensive specialist played a solid game in the middle for the Wolverines. The senior also added three aces to her efforts.
Katja Ehlers, Broughton: The senior outside hitter was very aggressive at the net. Ehlers was one of two Capitals with 10 kills. She also chipped in defensively with three blocks.
Kalee Vanderhorst, Broughton: Vanderhorst was the main attacker for the Caps, leading the team with 13 kills. Most of her kills were spiked at or around the net. She also had two aces on the night.
By the numbers
34: Assists by Broughton’s Smith. Smith led all players in assists, controlling the middle of the court with her passing skills.
33-16: The margin Broughton had over Wakefield in kills. Butler, Ehlers, and Vanderhorst anchored kills for the Caps.
6: Consecutive victories Broughton has started its season with.
4: Aces by Broughton’s Tiana Butler.