“I definitely feel like were in control the whole match,” coach Nancy Miller said.
St. Paul (23-0) defeated New London 25-6, 25-7 and 25-10 in a three-set sweep to take the Division IV sectional title.
“The front row did a great job controlling the net. I thought the girls served very aggressive tonight. I thought serving was a big plus for us,” Miller said.
Senior Kaeleigh Stang led the way for the Lady Flyers with 21 points, 19 digs and four aces. In the beginning of the second set, she served 10 consecutive points.
Sophomore Lauren Chandler added seven straight points later in the same set. She had a total of eight points to go with two aces.
Halle Schoen had 17 points and seven aces. In the third and final set, the senior served nine consecutive points.
“I think we did a great job of making New London’s receivers move for the ball, create that out of system (feel) to get an easier ball,” Miller said.
Senior Ashley Painley and junior Meghan Hedrick led St. Paul with 10 kills each. Schoen and sophomore Kamryn Maxwell added eight apiece.
Rachel Bleile had 38 assists. Miller said she thought the defense did a good job getting the ball to the junior setter.
The biggest lead New London had was a 3-1 advantage in the third set. It was tied at eight apiece before St. Paul pulled away for the 25-10 win.
New London coach Jill Mitchell knew the St. Paul team would be a powerhouse.
“We know what they’re like and what they’re capable of,” she said.
“Our goal all season with them is to have fun. I tell the girls, ‘We kinda know what the outcome is going to be, so let’s go have fund and do the best we can’ and that’s all we can ask for,” Mitchell added.
Senior Delaney Porter had six kills and a block.
Sophomore Lilian Bartow provided seven assists and six digs. Senior Breanna Wilson had eight digs and sophomore Cassiday Lay added six.
Mitchell sees volleyball as a game based on momentum and she witnessed that Thursday at the St. Paul Convocation Center.
“We got into some little ruts. (St. Paul) started serving really well and they would get us down,” she said. “I would call time out and remind the girls to stay positive and keep doing (their) best. I think that kinda helped hold us together.”
While Mitchell said she feels bad the seniors ended their volleyball careers with a loss, she said she knows the Lady Wildcats gave it all they had. New London ended the season 9-15.
“I feel like everybody left it out there on the court,” Mitchell said.
Up next for St. Paul is the Division IV semifinal match against Monroeville at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Willard High School.
Miller said the Lady Flyers’ non-conference games prepared them well for tournament play.
“We had a bye Tuesday. We had three straight practices. I think the kids worked really hard,” she said.
The St. Paul coach takes a wait-and-see approach with her next opponent who is Monroeville after the Eagles beat Lucas in three sets on Thursday.
“We’re really big on taking it one match at a time. It doesn’t matter who we play. It’s about taking care of ourselves at this point,” Miller said.
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Twitter at @Cary_reporter and on Facebook at "Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger."