Junior Erin Weinreis celebrated her birthday by leading the Pirates to win 28-26, 25-17. Weinreis led the team with 9 kills.
“Erin really reads the floor well. She understands the game. She understands the flow of things and where holes are,” said Ash Grove coach Duane Cox.
Cox believes the Pirates have not yet shown their best effort. Ash Grove made several errors in the first set but still managed to seal the win.
“It wasn’t perfect. We had a lot of errors, especially in game one. I think we had 13 or 14 errors that were totally us—hitting into the net, hitting out, missed serves, mishandling balls. We kind of cleaned it up a little bit in the second game. I feel like we were just pretty flat tonight. We didn’t play as good as we have been playing,” said Cox.
The Pirates led in the first set until the Lady Jays tied the score at 12. Clever held the lead until junior Madi Johnson made a kill, tying the score at 24. Lady Pirates and Lady Jays took turns scoring, but the Pirates pulled ahead with a kill by senior Karina Critten and a final point by Weinreis, who found a hole in the Lady Jays’ defense.
“I thought the team played decent. We have a lot better potential than what we showed tonight. We still have a lot of things to work on, and I’m looking forward to that,” said Weinreis.
The first set ended with a score of 28-26.
Lady Jays led by a point three times early in the second set, but they could not get past the Pirates’ defense, led by junior Madi Johnson with 10 digs and senior Karina Critten with two blocks.
Mauss and Critten made a powerful duo at the net, ending the game with a block and bringing the score to 25-17.
Clever head coach Teresa Hanafin isn’t discouraged by the loss.
“I’ve got a freshman setter who has been thrown into the fire, and I think she’s doing really, really good,” said Hanafin.
Lacey Menzie has stepped into one of the voids left by the departure of 6 standout seniors from the Lady Jays’ 2011 season.
“Lacey is very coachable, and the girls are very patient with her. Tonight she had some phenomenal sets, and then she had some ugly sets—but more good sets than bad sets,” said Hanafin.
Hanafin is encouraged by the teamwork her young team has shown.
“I am extremely proud of how my return players are so patient and helpful with my girls who have never seen a varsity court before,” said Hanafin.
Ash Grove travels to Lockwood on Sept. 13. Clever hosts Forsyth on Sept. 11.
Ash Grove 2, Clever 0
Ash GroveKill leaders – Erin Weinreis, 9
Karina Critten, 7
Halee Cashio, 7
Dig leaders – Jamie Mauss, 9
Madi Johnson, 10
Block leaders – Karina Critten, 2
Assist leaders – Jamie Mauss, 13
Tayler Welch, 9