EL DORADO — Union Mine made quick work of Galt Thursday night at home, rolling past the visiting Lady Warriors in three straight, 25-6, 25-8 and 25-4.
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The Diamondbacks were unstoppable in all aspects. Libero Macallan Smith was flawless in serve reception, while outside hitters Andrea Barnes and McKaela Vonasek dominated the attack, picking up powerful kills left and right.
“Beginning this year we were struggling to play together as a group,” Smith said. “Tonight everyone did a great job playing with and for each other — tonight was a great momentum booster for us.”
Solid defense kept Galt in check. When Gabrielle Fredericks took her serving rotation leading 4-2 in the first game, the junior opened up with an ace and refused to let off the accelerator, pushing Union Mine to a 10-2 lead. Barnes took over and extended the lead to 13 with kill support from junior Jordyn Trulli as well as a number of miscues from Galt in the receiving department.
“Our intensity tonight was so much better than earlier in the year,” Barnes said. “Everyone played with a lot of energy and we started to click — we are going to need to play like this when we take on El Dorado next.”
Trulli and sophomore Kylie Russell each contributed solid service runs en route to the first-game Sierra Valley Conference win. The girls kept up the pace in the second set as senior Brooke Howton opened on serve before Haylee Dales took over and threw down a nine-point service run. Defensively, Olivia Verbitsky and Savannah Scott were perfect on the back line — erasing any hopes for Galt to crawl back into the game.
“Everyone played outstanding,” Vonasek said. “It’s impossible to pick just one girl that did well. Gabby (Frederick’s) played great, Kylie (Russell) played great, everyone did a great job. We knew that this was going to be a good match to see where we are as a team, and we just need to keep it up.”
Cruising to a 25-8 win in game two behind Russell’s huge service run, the Diamondbacks pulled a three-peat in the final set. Russell outdid herself with a 13-point service run and after one more service run by Fredericks and two Galt serves later, Union Mine wrapped up the night.
“Early on we knew we would have to take the time to go through that period of learning to play together,” Vonasek said. “And tonight helped everyone’s confidence.”
Union Mine faces intra-county rival El Dorado Tuesday night in Cougar country. When asked if her teammates have what it takes to drop the Cougars in front of the Blue Crew, Vonasek smiled.
“It’s gonna happen,” she said.