CAREY — The Carey volleyball team had little difficulty with a faltering Riverdale squad in a tri-match Saturday, coasting to a non-league victory, 25-11, 25-14, on the strength of boatloads of errors from its opponent.
The Falcons committed 19 errors and allowed eight aces, and poor passing and setting kept them on their heels and from ever putting up a fight against the Blue Devils.
In the preceding match, Riverdale climbed back from a 23-17 deficit in the second set against Arlington to knot it at 24. The Falcons lost the next two points as they fell to the Red Devils, 25-16, 26-24, but it was a good way to finish out the match heading into the bout with the Blue Devils.
“When we came into today we talked about intensity and consistency, and always having that fire and always wanting to win,” coach Jenny Young said. “We came off that game (hot) and should have had that momentum carrying us, but we didn’t. That’s what hurt us.”
It made for an easy two sets for Carey. As usual, Hannah Tong and Shelby Seifert led the offense. Tong had eight kills and Seifert had seven as the two put away balls with ease against the undersized Falcons.
“They are our 1-2 punch,” coach Eric Vackert said. “We’re not fooling anybody. Anybody we play knows they’re going to get most of our attacks … When they’re on, and we pass the ball well, they can get a lot of swings and a lot of attacks. As of late, we’ve been passing the ball much better.”
Constant errors put Riverdale in a hole from the outset in both sets. Carey jumped to 9-3 and 13-5 leads in the first and second sets, respectively, and the Falcons could not revive a moribund offense to mount a comeback.
Brittany Wetherill was tops for the Falcons with four kills, and Catlin Pauley had three. Pauley also recorded Riverdale’s lone ace late in the match.
The Falcons’ longest run of the match was four points in the second set, after which Riverdale still was down seven points, 21-14, while Carey had five runs of at least four points.
“I think intimidation is a (factor),” Young said. “We have a lot of seniors, but as far as playing experience at the varsity level, some of them haven’t had much of that.”
The Blue Devils were mighty with the serve, as most were well-placed and several were unreturnable. Consequentially, Riverdale had trouble passing the ball to the front for good attacking opportunities.
“At times we can be a very strong serving team,” Vackert said. “The other night we had 17 aces against (Fostoria) St. Wendelin and I think we had 15 against Lakota, and, as long as we can cut down on missing serves, that’s a good equation.”
Carey beat Arlington, 25-10, 15-25, 25-19, in the first match.
Hannah Tong, with three aces on the day, became the all-time leader at Carey in aces and moved past Brooke Distel for second place in kills with 14 total. She now has 131 aces and 679 kills during her time as a Blue Devil.
Seifert also had 14 kills between the Blue Devils’ two matches and Tong had 11 blocks.
The Blue Devils built a 13-7 lead in the first set with Riverdale on three aces and five Falcons errors, and allowed just four more points the rest of the way.
“You can’t keep making the same mistakes,” Young said. “That’s one thing we talked about and we’re going to be working on this week.”
With 23 points recorded in the second set, Carey had an 11-point lead, 17-6. The two teams played to an 8-8 tie the rest of the way as the Blue Devils closed out the set. Pauley recorded her ace during a four-point Riverdale run, beginning with the Falcons down, 21-10.
Riverdale hosts Liberty-Benton at 5:30 tonight. Carey plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at New Riegel.
Carey 2, Arlington 1
Carey 2, Riverdale 0
Carey (7-3, 2-1 Midland Athletic League): S. Wentling, 23-23 serves, 5 aces, 72-77 setting, 30 assists; Seifert, 20-22 serving, 5 kills, 2 blocks, 26-30 attacking, 14 kills; Tong, 18-19 serving, 3 aces, 11 blocks, 34-35 attacking, 14 kills; M. Wentling, 19-20 serving, 3 aces, 12 digs; Fletcher, 11 digs; Johnson, 12 digs.
Riverdale: Wetherill, 13-18 hitting, 4 kills, 2-2 serving, 5 digs; Pauley, 12-15 hitting, 3 kills, 6-8 serving, 1 dig, 1 ace; York, 6-6 hitting, 1 kill, 3-3 serving, 1 dig; Renteria, 2-3 serving, 3 digs, 16-16 setting, 2 assists; Vaughan, 5 digs; Farmer, 20-22 setting, 6 assists.
Arlington 2, Riverdale 0
Riverdale: Wetherill, 16-20 hitting, 7 kills, 6-8 serving, 10 digs; Pauley, 14-15 hitting, 4 kills, 6-8 serving, 9 digs; York, 8-9 hitting, 1 kill, 7-7 serving, 7 digs; Walter, 4-4 serving, 2 digs; Vaughan, 1-1 serving; P. Pickett, 6-6 serving; Renteria, 4-4 serving, 18-21 setting, 3 assists; Farmer, 2 digs, 21-21 setting, 8 assists.
By NICK MARLOW