Sweep spot: Wakeland blows past McKinney North
MCKINNEY – The Wakeland volleyball team had no trouble establishing its intentions during the first set of Monday night’s match at McKinney North.
The Lady Wolverines jumped out to a 19-9 lead during the opening set before eventually earning a 25-12 victory and ultimately a straight set-sweep (25-12, 25-21, 25-20) of the Lady Bulldogs.
“We’re in a situation right now where we are playing so much that we have very little practice time,” said Kim Watson, Wakeland head coach. “We’re having to fix things on the fly, but I’m very happy with how we’re playing right now.”
Wakeland was led by senior Hannah Hankins and Sophia Samadian, who each had eight kills on the night.
“[Hankins and Samadian] did a great job of picking and choosing their spots,” Watson said.
Halie McMillan and Shontanae Addison chipped in another eight kills combined, with each player tallying four in the game.
After the slow start, North rebounded with a quick surge in the second set that saw the Lady Bulldogs grab a 4-1 lead in the early going. However, Wakeland came right back with 15 of the next 22 points to take a 16-11 advantage.
“I thought we played pretty solid at moments,” said Shannon Alvarado, North head coach. “We still have a lot of improvements to make though.”
One bright spot for North was the hitting of junior Courtney Kankel, who had six kills in the game.
“[Kankel] brings some timely kills for us,” Alvarado said. “She still needs to develop her block a little more though.”
Junior Melissa Nichols led all North players with seven kills in the game while senior libero Lexey Wilson continued to lead the Lady Bulldogs defensively with 11 digs in the match.
Service errors were an issue for North much of the night and the Lady Wolverines made the Lady Bulldogs pay for each one while having little trouble with the serve themselves.
“Wakeland did a good job of moving us,” Alvarado said. “They served aggressively.”
Hankins finished the match with three aces while four different Wakeland players ended the night with at least two more.
“We depend a lot on [Hankins] and she is coming through for us,” Watson said. “She’s been such a leader for us on and off the court.”
Much like the first set, Wakeland jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third and took advantage of early North errors.
“We like to play from ahead,” Watson said. “We haven’t been doing that lately and we’re a team that can’t really play from behind right now.”
North did mount a quick comeback to knot the set at 11 points apiece before three late kills from Hankins put the Lady Wolverines ahead, 18-13.
Wakeland never looked back from there and cruised to a 25-20 third-set victory for the road sweep.
The win improved Wakeland’s season mark to 5-3 with a Tuesday night match against Rockwall-Heath (results not available as of press time) next in line.
North fell to 3-6 with Monday’s loss and will now look to rebound in the Lewisville ISD Tournament Thursday through Saturday.