Tigers sweep past rival MCC to open volleyball season


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Holy Trinity's Cassie Martin (center) slams the ball past the MCC defense for one of her four kills as the Tigers defeated the Hustlers 25-12, 25-8, 25-13 in their season opener Tuesday night.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Holy Trinity volleyball team had to wait a long time to play its season opener.

And when that moment came Tuesday night, the Tigers weren’t messing around.

Holy Trinity swept visiting rival Melbourne Central Catholic 25-12, 25-8 and 25-13 in quick fashion to get its season off to a strong start.

“The girls were ready to put the jerseys on and come play,” Tigers coach Pete Klonowski said. “It’s been almost a month-and-a-half since tryouts. That’s a long time to come in day after day and go through the practice grind.”

Senior Emily led the Tigers with 10 assists, seven digs, five kills and two aces.

Senior Layla Matthews also had five kills and a team-high two blocks. Freshman Cassie Martin had four kills and an assist while junior Olivia Yochim had three kills and two digs. Senior Kayla Burge led the team with seven aces and also had four digs.

Senior Carmen Zipf had five aces, four assists and three digs. Junior Taylor Mullen had five assists, five digs and two aces. Senior Shelbe Seage had three aces, freshman Sophia Panarese had seven digs and Mackenzie Sands had one kill.

Overall, the Tigers served 20 aces.

“I think we did a really good job serving (tonight),” Klonowski said. “I think we did a really good job with our out-of-system offense. I think our ball control has to get better. Our serve-receive has to get better.

“Our first contact … when the other team is out of system, hitting roll shots, we have to be able to press the ball inside the attack line and get a little faster offensively.”

Klonowski said he would have loved to have scheduled games for earlier this season, but finding opponents for the six-time district champions “didn’t work out.”

The Tigers had a game at Astronaut scheduled for last week that was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian.

So how big was Tuesday night, when the Tigers finally got to see all of their hard work in practice pay off, and against their rivals from MCC?

“We were so excited,” Matthews said. “We wanted to make sure we came out and took care of business quick, made sure we showed what we could do immediately.”

One of five seniors on this year’s Holy Trinity team, Matthews was happy with the way she and her teammates played against MCC.

“I feel great,” Matthews said. “I’m really proud of how everyone played. I think we played very well. We still have everything to work on – serve-receive, serves – but I think it was a really good start to the season.”