PALMER — The Wasilla Warriors defeated the Palmer Moose in three straight sets in Thursday night prep volleyball competition at Palmer High. Behind the strong play of Josi Schachle and Jada Schultz, Wasilla won 25-14, 25-19 and 27-25 to improve their record to 3-0.
“Palmer is always really scrappy and super good at defense so it’s really fun to play against them because they don’t really let the ball hit the floor,” said Wasilla head coach Katie Oxspring. “Palmer is really great competition that we have right now and so I’m grateful for the opportunity that we get to play them.”
To start the match, Josi Schachle gave Wasilla a commanding lead in the first game. While Schachle was standing at the service line, Wasilla went on a nine-point streak including an ace from Schachle. Palmer cut the lead to seven with a Jenna Whisenhunt block, but the Warrior lead was insurmountable in the first game. Schachle took the ball to serve again and delivered two aces to end the first match 25-14.
“That was our goal first of all was to win the first set and then after that it was staying high and keeping it super simple so we just wanted to pass well, we wanted to make smart sets and we just wanted to find the floor and so when things were tight it was more about not making volleyball complicated and keeping it super simple,” said Oxspring.
Palmer’s Katy Meaney started the second game off with a vengeance, giving Palmer the early 4-0 lead. The Moose and Warriors went back and forth, tying at five, seven, nine, and 10 points. Palmer stayed with Wasilla behind setting from Mackenzie Terwilliger and creative back row offense from Talia Villnerve. Warrior Libero Heidi Brewer gave Wasilla the six point lead with two aces to make the score 20-13 in the second game.
“Our libero Heidi didn’t let a ball drop and then she communicates, so she runs that floor,” said Oxspring. “Our setter Lily [Hyce], she’s kind of a quarterback, she a manager of a floor silently, it’s like no glory. She did a great job sharing the ball and then doing anything we asked and playing really great defense so in my opinion serve receive, being consistent and then not letting the ball drop on defense is really what did it in the end.”
After the lead changed hands repeatedly, Schachle finished Palmer off with two kills to end the second game with a score of 25-13. Palmer picked up momentum in the third game, taking the lead for a long stretch after the game was tied at nine. Schachle again showed her superlative service and went on a four serve streak to get the Warriors within one before both teams traded points. With every shift of momentum, the rallies became longer and the teams again tied at 19, 20, 24 and 25 points. After the game was tied at 20, Jada Schultz took over. The hitter dove on the floor to save a ball at the last second to give Wasilla the lead and the momentum to end the game. Schultz finished off with another emphatic kill and Wasilla took the third game 27-25.
“Everybody from our bench that got in still kept the level of play high and so I’m proud of the girls because they kept that play high and they really kept it simple and defense was just on point,” said Oxspring.
Wasilla moves on to play Redington on Tuesday and Colony next Thursday.