Warsaw senior Delaney Silveus keeps the ball in play during the second game. Photos by Gary Nieter
Warsaw senior Delaney Silveus keeps the ball in play during the second game. Photos by Gary Nieter
SYRACUSE – Warsaw volleyball got back on course after a tough five-set loss to Carroll Tuesday with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-11) on the road at Wawasee Thursday night.

The win is the Tigers’ fourteenth of the season as the team moves to 14-7. The win also puts Warsaw at 5-0 in Northern Lakes Conference play, tied for first with NorthWood.

“I don’t think there’s ever a moment where we exhale and say ‘we’re there,’” Warsaw head coach Chandra Hepler said. “We’re taking it one day at a time and trusting the process rather than looking ahead to the outcome.”

Wawasee falls to 12-7, 0-4 in the NLC.

The match started off with a sight that’s become very familiar to Warsaw fans: a kill by Kaylee Weeks. The Tigers would start fast and keep the pressure on. Warsaw had a big advantage at the front of the net all night long and showed it off, getting whatever it wanted in terms of kills and blocking shots.

For Wawasee, Ally McClintic was very busy in the first game. The junior got a couple of tough digs on some hard hit balls to keep the Warriors in the game. But for every point Wawasee managed in set one, the Tigers were scoring two or three.

Towards the end of the first game, Warsaw showed its defense can match its offense. Avery Hales and Ellie Hepler made a couple of remarkable one-handed saves that would eventually turn into points. It made life difficult for the Warriors, who were unable to score much despite getting good opportunities. Warsaw took set one 25-12.

Wawasee started the second set off with a bang on a kill from junior Abbigail Burelison. It would be a better second set for the Warriors, as the team would hang around after an early Tiger run made it 9-3. Wawasee would score three straight points to trim the lead. The Warriors were able to hang around for almost the entire second game, but were unable to come up with the run that would put the team on top.  The Tiger attackers would find some rhythm at the end of the set and take it 25-17.

“We executed well tonight. When you have a player like Avery that can set the ball anywhere and everywhere, we’re able to run different combinations with our hitters,” Hepler said.

Warsaw would get little resistance in the third set. After Wawasee scored the first point of the game, the Tigers would score the next five and roll from there. Weeks would earn a couple of aces serving the ball, defenders would get some blocks and Warsaw would call it a night with a straight-set victory after a 25-11 win in set three.

Wawasee plays at the Bremen Invite on Saturday. Warsaw will be at home Saturday, hosting the Tiger Invitational. Next Thursday, the team plays NorthWood at home in a game that could crown the NLC champions.

“Our goal all season has been to win conference so it doesn’t matter who the opponent is,” Hepler said. “I always tell our girls our biggest opponent is in the mirror so we’ll be taking it one rep at a time. I know NorthWood is good but right now we’re not overlooking anything in front of us.”