PREP VOLLEYBALL: Royals find rhythm at right times in sweep of EV-W

WATERTOWN – The talent is there for the Watertown-Mayer volleyball team. Now just about a month into the season, the Royals are starting to put it all together at the right time.

Despite a slow start and some rough stretches, W-M never wavered as they kept things rolling with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-15) win at home Tuesday night over Eden Valley-Watkins.

“It was really important to come out and get a win off the bat,” Royals coach Andrea Raser said. “We played a lot this weekend and then we have an early game tomorrow against Annandale. We don’t have a practice so we needed to do it right now.”

EV-W had the Royals scrambling early on but it was W-M who came out on top in set one with a 25-20 win. In set two, the Royals showed their composure.

After their five-point lead was trimmed to just one, W-M turned things around on their own without a timeout to pick up a 25-17 win in which they finished the set on a 12-3 run.

“Sometimes, in those tight games, you don’t want to call that timeout if you don’t need to,” Raser said. “You can trust your team to come back and go out and play without calling it. Early on in the season, I try and let them just work it out on their own and let them figure it out. They need to figure it out. It’s one thing to call a timeout and try to stop the momentum. They need to be able to figure out that they can come back and figure it out on the court without me. It’s just a learning lesson.”

The Royals carried that momentum into set three to complete the sweep. A big reason for the maturity and composure of W-M this season is the ability to have multiple threats at the net.

“It’s awesome,” Natalie Ernhart said about having multiple weapons. “Paige was our go-to hitter last year. Now I can move the ball around to anyone and I trust all my teammates.”

With the win, W-M improved to 11-2 on the season. The Royals are ranked No. 2 in Class AA.

“I think we’re off to a really good start,” Ernhart said. “We’re showing a lot that we can prove ourselves to a lot of teams. It’s been fun.”

The Royals have another tough test for them today taking on conference rival Annandale.

“Tonight’s game could come down to be the conference championship game when you look at it,” Raser said. “Annandale is a really good team. We both have a couple of tournaments under our belts so it should be a fun matchup.”

For the complete story and more Herald Journal sports coverage, check out the September 17 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.  Subscribers have full access to this article and more by clicking here. Subscriptions start as low as $1.50 for a two-day subscription, the same price as a newspaper on a newsstand.

Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter: @Kovar_HJSports

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