After some tough years, the Cass volleyball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to what they hope will be a new era of success.
The Lady Colonels beat North Murray and Pepperell at a season-opening home tri-match Tuesday, not dropping a set.
“We’ve got big expectations for them this year, because I know they’re capable of it,” Cass coach Chelsea Morris said. “I’m just really proud of them.”
The 2-0 start will be welcome after a long run of futility. The Lady Colonels haven’t made the state tournament since 2011, and have endured a few winless seasons since then.
This year, with a group of seniors who have been with the team for four years, they’re looking to end that streak.
They’ve also got a new coach in Morris, who was an assistant last year and played for the Lady Colonels in high school.
The team made their intentions clear in the first set of the new season, stomping over North Murray 25-12. That would be the last easy set of the day, though, as Cass also showed it could win close.
The second set against North Murray went all the way to 28-26 before the the Lady Colonels could close it out, and the second game was more of the same.
Cass jumped out to big leads in both sets against Pepperell, but the Dragons went on big scoring runs each time.
In the first set, that was all the way back to take a 24-23 lead.
With Cass one point away from dropping the set, Kyler Trouten drove an ace down the middle of the court to tie the set.
“Kyler Trouten, No. 2, she was on it with the hits tonight, got several really good kills,” Morris said.
After that, one shot that went long from Pepperell and a kill from Keegan Krause, a transfer who moved in from Texas, gave the Lady Colonels the set, 26-24.
The second set was more of the same, as Cass just couldn’t separate from the Dragons, losing a big early lead.
The set was tied at 19-all before Cass went on a run to 24-20, and managed to put the set away 25-23.
“They were close ones, and it’s always fun to win on those where you’re neck-and-neck,” Morris said. “I kind of wished we hadn’t waited until the last minute, but it was very fun, very exciting.”
Trouten was the star of the game, racking up kills on the front line and getting support from Krause and sophomore setter Madison Philpott.
The wins were an encouraging sign, especially in Morris’ first game as head coach.
“I think they were nervous to start off with, but they didn’t show it,” Morris said. “That first game against North Murray, they came out and had a strong lead, and I’m proud of the way they portrayed the team tonight.”
Woodland swept in three-set tuneup
Woodland volleyball lost three sets each by double digits in a Tuesday match against Hiram, 6-25, 13-25, and 14-25.
The team was originally scheduled to play both Hiram and East Paulding, but after the latter team dropped out, Hiram and Woodland just decided to play three sets against each other.
“The inexperience really showed versus a much more experienced Hiram team,” head coach David Condon said. “But we’ll improve.”