ALLPORT — Despite the sweep of visiting Claysburg-Kimmel on Tuesday night, the West Branch postgame huddle lasted much longer than the Lady Bulldogs.
Lady Warriors head coach Terry Trude was not pleased with how his team played in a 25-20, 26-24, 26-24 victory and he made sure his team knew it.
West Branch had 17 hitting errors and 10 service errors on the night, uncharacteristic for a team that serves in the mid 90s most nights.
“We serve every day in practice and we put a lot of pressure on the serve, so it’s kind of surprising we are not executing,” he said. “This year we are serving 90 percent, but we are capable of serving better. We are just making way too many errors.”
The Lady Warriors had big leads in both the second and third sets as well before the Lady Bulldogs rallied each time.
Claysburg-Kimmel led in all three sets, including 13-8 in the first set after Haileigh Reed served up six straight points after being down 8-6.
Meghan Cantolina had the big kill for West Branch to get the side out and Taylor Myers’ serve brought the Lady Warriors to within 13-12.
A key service run by Corrin Evans down 15-12 gave the Lady Warriors a 17-16 lead.
West Branch never relinquished that and went on to win 25-20.
Cantolina had three of her four kills in the first set, while Emma Morlock had three.
“Claysburg plays really good defense,” said Trude. “Offensively, they just wait for you to make mistakes.
“I thought they dug the ball really well. I thought we were swinging. We had some success hitting cross court.”
West Branch led 17-12 in the second set before Claysburg-Kimmel got back into it and went up 20-19.
The Lady Bulldogs had game point on the Lady Warriors but a service error put the hosts back into the game.
Taylor Myers served up two points, getting a kill from Abby Gallaher on one, to give West Branch a 26-24 victory.
The Lady Warriors had four service errors in that set alone.
“I don’t know as a coach if I need to figure out who can serve in pressure situations and make some changes,” Trude said. “It’s not going to help us when we get into really elite level games where you have to put the ball in play. I’m a little bit worried about that right now.”
West Branch broke out to another lead in the third set, going up 4-0 off the serve of Taylor Kalke. Kalke led the Lady Warriors with 11 service points on the night.
Claysburg-Kimmel tied things at 8-8 before a four-point run gave the Lady Warriors some breathing room at 13-8.
The Lady Warriors led 17-12 before Claysburg eventually took a 24-23 lead off several hitting errors by West Branch.
The Lady Bulldogs once again had game point, but some how West Branch managed to stay alive and get the sideout after Claysburg couldn’t get the ball back over the net after a long rally.
West Branch went on to win 26-24 to earn the set and match wins.
Myers led the team in kills with 16. She also had nine service points and three blocks.
“Taylor Myers has been our spark this year, finding the kills when we need a kill,” Trude said. “We just got to find some other people to make some plays, because we have to have a better balance.”
Kalke finished with eight digs and two blocks, while Corrin Evans had six service points. Emma Morlock netted 13 kills and six digs, while Ella Miller had six digs.
Setter Morgan Glace added 32 assists, eight service points and seven digs.
The Lady Warriors improve to 21-2-2 overall and 10-0 in the ICC. West Branch hosts Mount Union on Thursday.