Sanderson rolled into Broughton on a two-game slide. The Capitals, meanwhile, entered the contest red hot, not having lost all season. The Spartans left Holliday Gymnasium still on that slide, as Broughton got the sweep 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-9).
While sets one and two were all Caps from beginning to end, the second set did provide some drama, with Sanderson pulling to within one, 13-12, after Broughton started the set on a 10-3 run.
“Our serves-receives went south in the second set,” Caps’ coach Jim Freeman said. “In the second set we didn’t pass very well. And I wasn’t going to call a timeout to stop it, I just wanted them to work on that themselves.”
Broughton (12-0, 7-0) worked through it, and got back into its groove, crushing Sanderson (9-4,4-3) in the final set. The life the Spartans showed in the second set didn’t carry over to the elimination set, sending them home early.
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“We got back to us (in the second set),” Sanderson coach Pam Tart said. “Our biggest thing right now is communicating. Once we started doing that, that’s when we had a push, but we have to start doing that all three sets.”
In the third set, Broughton was cruising, ahead 21-8. To their credit, the Spartans hadn’t waved the white flag, so the Caps needed one final dagger. Broughton senior Katja Ehlers laid all the way out to return a serve, literally sliding across the floor to make the hit.
Three who mattered
Ehlers, Broughton: Dominated at the net, and overall had a complete game for the Caps, finishing with 18 kills and six digs.
Kalee Vanderhorst, Broughton: Forming a twin towers at the net with Ehlers, Vanderhorst finished with 11 kills. Also had four aces.
Tiana Butler, Broughton: Set the pace for the Caps, tying Vanderhorst for number of aces, also finishing with three blocks.
By the numbers
12: Number of consecutive wins for Broughton, who remain undefeated this season.
28: Total number of assist by Broughton’s Kati Smith.
3: Losses in a row for Sanderson, all in Cap-8 play.
The road won’t get any easier for the Caps. With each win, the target grows bigger and they can expect to get the best shot from their opponent each night.
“We just have to stay focus on our game,” Ehlers said. “We know people are coming after us. We just have to stay focused and keep communicating and setting goals that we want to reach.”