Onaway volleyball shuts out Inland Lakes

ONAWAY-If there was one disappointing thing about the Onaway volleyball team’s performance on Tuesday against Inland Lakes, it was that the Cardinals didn’t have a chance to really get their offense going.

With the way the Cardinals were serving, not much offense was necessary.

Onaway set the tempo early and often on the way to a three-set sweep over Inland Lakes over its second Ski-Valley Conference win. Onaway won 25-14, 25-12 and 25-12.

The Cardinals had more than a dozen aces on the night and used their potency from the service line to score easy points against the Bulldogs, who couldn’t handle the serves.

“It was pretty much a serving match wasn’t it? Early on they served pretty tough and we struggled to receive the serve and we get better at that and ultimately our serve got better,” Onaway coach Steve Watson said. “We didn’t get to run a lot of offense, because they couldn’t handle our serve.”

Devin Bristley led Onaway with 10 aces and added six kills and four digs.

Bristley helped Onaway jump out to a 5-0 lead to open the final set after serving four consecutive aces. The Cardinals continued to cruise from there with most of the Bulldogs’ points coming from short serves or out-of-bounds hits by Onaway.

Mariah Ehrke had seven kills, four aces and eight digs for Onaway. Sara Fullerton added six kills, one ace, four digs and a block. Taylor Ehrke had 21 assists to go with two kills, four aces and two digs. Brianna Fitzpatrick and Morganne Badgero each had five digs and Lexi Szymoniak had three kills, one ace and five digs.

The only thing that slowed the Cardinals down in the final set was a stoppage in play when senior Rachel Nave, when down with a knee injury. Watson is hopefully she’ll return soon, but said her injury didn’t look good.

Inland Lakes took a brief lead to open the second set, but Onaway soon found its rhythm offensively. Kills from Mariah and Fullerton tied the score at three and the Cardinals pulled away down the stretch. A pair of kills from Bristley gave Onaway a 14-7 lead. Bristley later served two aces in the midst of an 8-0 run and Fullerton ended the set with a well-placed tip.

Steady serves from Bristley keyed Onaway in the opening set as well. With a 13-9 lead, Bristley served four aces during a 6-0 Onaway run and Mariah iced the set with aces for the final two points. In between, Mariah had two kills and Fullerton and Elise Arkwood paired for a block which put Onaway up 21-10.

Watson was pleased to see his team perform so well from the service line, but said the Cardinals still have some room to improve.

“We had a lot of aces tonight, but we still had nine errors, which is tolerable because we’re serving tough. If there’s one thing we need to improve this season, it’s putting the ball in play from the service line.”