By EDDIE DANIELS | The Tampa Tribune
Published: September 29, 2009
TAMPA – From a layman’s point of view, there wasn’t much the Cambridge volleyball team did wrong Tuesday night against Academy at the Lakes.
The Lancers put together a dominant performance, beating the Wildcats, 25-11, 25-14, 25-17. In the process, Cambridge gathered 15 aces and its ninth victory of the season.
But upon further inspection, Cambridge coach Dave Wolcott had to re-focus his group early.
“I called a timeout in Game 1 with us leading (6-2) because were not playing the game we need to play. Our game,” Wolcott said. “And doing things we need to do; we need to dictate the pace of the game, we need to dictate where the ball is going, not play reactionary, but be deliberate. So those are the things we’re working towards.”
It didn’t take long for that message to set in after that timeout. Following that break in play, the Lancers (9-4) outscored Academy at the Lakes, 12-5, forcing the Wildcats into their own timeout.
Melissa Olsson’s kill, which was fed by Caitlin Carr, ended Game 1.
Academy at the Lakes didn’t allow themselves to fall very far behind during the opening points of Game 2. A block by Alexis Holler and later a free ball by Holler dropped, keeping the Wildcats close, although behind, 8-5.
Just as it seemed Academy at the Lakes (6-3) would turn things around, the Lancers collected three consecutive points on aces by Ashley Rubright.
“We were a little bit nervous,” Wildcats coach Rick Jennings said. “We play a little bit better at home, but for the most part, we’re a young team with freshmen and sophomores. And with youth comes a little bit of momentum and it can break pretty easily.”
Three hitting errors allowed Academy at the Lakes to take a 3-1 advantage early in Game 3, but an errant Wildcats serve and a tip by Cambridge middle hitter Amber Rubright, tied the game, 3-3.
Although close for the majority of Game 3, the Lancers pulled off the sweep after an Olivia Yeager put back for the final point.
“What we’re pushing with the girls is intentional excellence,” Wolcott said. “Trying to be intentional with everything we do. What do you want to accomplish when you serve? What do you want to accomplish before you go to hit? What do you want to accomplish when you pass?
“It’s just like life. … Those who are intentional about life succeed. Those who just happen to go through life, life just happens to them and it usually doesn’t happen well.”
Reporter Eddie Daniels can be reached at (813) 259-7066