Hawks make quick work of Eagles
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Mackey Boatwright rises up to put down one of her team-leading six kills in Wednesday’s non-conference sweep over the Firebaugh Eagles.
The Liberty Hawks girls volleyball team headed into its match with the Firebaugh Eagles needing a pick-me-up in front of its home crowd.
The home fans provided the energy and the Hawks did the rest in a tidy three-set sweep over the Eagles on Wednesday.
“We are definitely a team that plays off energy,” head coach Grant Clark said. “We like playing at home. That comes down to consistency and to replicate that when we travel.”
The Hawks outscored the Eagles 75-39 in the three sets and was only really threatened in the third set.
The Hawks were aggressive on their serve and hit 25 aces, which was more than their 23 combined kills. Rylee Bocchini led the Hawks with six kills and Karsyn Bauer had five. Bauer also recorded seven aces while Bocchini and Emily Boatwright had five each.
“We got a lot of kills, put a balls in the right spot and it’s been a focus at practice recently,” Clark said. “You don’t have to get a kill, but if you force them to free ball over, it puts them in trouble.
“The last couple of matches have been tough for us. I was proud of the way, especially the first two sets, of our hitting. It was pretty good and consistent. I was happy with how our happy and middles performed.”
The Hawks started the match by dominating the service line. Despite missing six serves, they also had nine aces.
Emma Del Toro served up the first three points of the match, with an ace, after a kill from Mackey Boatwright. After a trade in missed serves, Bocchini served up three aces in a four-point run for an 8-1 lead.
Emily Boatwright put down a pair of side out kills and Mackey Boatwright served up an ace for an 11-4 lead.
Taylor Toschi made a diving save on a ball and it fell on Firebaugh’s side for a side out kill. Bauer added a kill for a nine-point lead.
Firebaugh showed some life with a pair of aces to cut the lead to six, and then got the lead down to five before an Emily Boatwright side out kill.
Mackey Boatwright served up three aces and got a kill from Maci Whaley for a 22-13 lead.
After a missed serve, Firebaugh served out of bounds. Sarah Sinclair served up an ace for set point and Firebaugh was called for a double contact violation for a 25-13 Liberty win.
Firebaugh scored the first two points of the second set, but Liberty scored 25 of the next 33 points to cruise to the win.
Bocchini served up a pair of aces while Emily Boatwright and Mackey Boatwright put down kills for a 6-2 lead.
Whaley found the back corner for a side out kill for an 8-4 lead. Firebaugh served up two aces to cut the lead to one.
Emily Boatwright went behind the line and didn’t stop serving until Liberty scored 13 straight points. In the run, she recorded five aces. Bauer had three kills in the run. Sinclair got a bump kill and Boatwright had a back row kill for a 22-7 lead.
Firebaugh got the side out, but Bocchini put down a side out kill. Mackey Boatwright got a kill for set point. Firebaugh scored the next two points, but hit one into the net for the 25-10 win.
The Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set. A Boatwright side out kill led to the Hawks tying the score.
Del Toro served up an ace and Boatwright put down a kill to tie the set at 4.
The Eagles didn’t go down quietly. They recorded an ace in a three-point run for an 8-5 lead. Bocchini got a bump kill for a side out, but the teams traded missed serves.
Bauer recorded a pair of solo blocks and Sinclair served up an ace for a 10-9 Liberty lead.
A missed serve and two Firebaugh aces gave the Eagles a 12-10 lead. The teams traded side outs before a missed serve gave the ball to Bauer, who didn’t give it up for 12 points.
Bauer served up seven aces in the 12 points. Boatwright and Bocchini added kills and by the time Bauer was done, Liberty had match point.
The Hawks gave up the serve for side out and Firebaugh. The Eagles added another point before Boatwright ended the match with a kill.