BY WILL WILLEMS
DOVER — The Western Boone volleyball team had a couple of goals heading into Tuesday night’s match with Tri-West.
Honor their seniors with a win in their final home match, and continue to build momentum as they get closer to the sectional. The Stars accomplished both of those.
Western Boone topped Tri-West 3-1 (28-30, 25-19, 25-10, 25-15) to win their fourthstraight match and eighth in their last nine matches.
“The first set we weren’t focused at all,” Western Boone head coach Laura Lawson said. “It was the emotions of senior night and we were doing things we haven’t done the past month or so. The passes were off and we weren’t communicating. But we got it back in gear and played well after that.”
After losing the marathon first set, the Stars really didn’t have many problems with the Bruins.
They won the second set easily, then jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the second set. They led by no less than 12 the rest of the way.
Lawson said the Stars got into a good rhythm in the set.
“We did a good job of getting side outs, then getting a couple of points in a row on our serve,” Lawson said. “That helps us a lot. When we are in a flow of the game, then we are usually getting a few points in a row.”
The fourth set was close early, with the teams tied at 9.
But Western Boone won the next 10 points and put the match away. With the new sectional alignment this season, the Stars and Bruins could potential meet again in a couple of weeks.
Lawson said while the result ultimately won’t be important, getting an opportunity to play them so late in the year was a positive.
“Sectionals is so nerve-wracking,” Lawson said. “It doesn’t matter what your regular season record is, or who beat who in the regular season. Everybody is one and done. It was good to see them toward the end of the regular season, just to help our scout and learn some things heading into the sectional.”
Callie Gubera had 20 kills and 11 digs for the Stars. Claire Fuller added 18 kills and 18 digs.
Callahan Baxter had seven kills and four digs, while Tayln Guinn had seven kills. Emma Rolf had six kills. In total, six girls had kills for the Stars and five girls had more than 10 attempts.
Lawson said getting a lot of girls involved is going to be important down the stretch.
“Last year, this was the point in the season that we lost three in a row and got a little tired,” Lawson said. “This year, we are staying with our momentum and our heading toward our peak in the sectionals.”
Lexie Raby had 59 assists, 12 digs and four kills. Madie Bright had 23 digs, Kelsie Thacker had seven digs and Emily Toney had five digs.
Before the match, Western Boone honored Baxter, Bright, Fuller, Raby, Thacker and Toney.
Lawson said this is a group that meant a lot to her and Western Boone.
“They have a meant a lot to this program,” Lawson said. “They have a lot of pride in their work ethic and the Western Boone program. They took younger girls under their wings and were really encouraging. I coached them in seventh grade when I was a junior in college, so I have grown up with them. It is hard to see them go, but they leave a good legacy.”
Western Boone has four matches remaining, all on the road.
That road trip starts Thursday at Hamilton Heights.
“We have to clean up some our communication errors,” Lawson said. “Our passing was a little off today, but toward the end it got much better, so we have to keep that up.”
WESTERN BOONE SENIOR LEXIE RABY passes to a teammate on Tuesday. Raby had 59 assists in the Stars’ win over Tri-West.
WESTERN BOONE’S CALLAHAN BAXTER (right) and Lexie Raby try to block Tri-West’s Lauren Clark on Tuesday.