By Josh Brown
NEW CARLISLE — No matter how many practices or scrimmages come before, the start of the actual season can still be daunting.
But it didn’t take long for all of that preseason work to pay off for the Troy volleyball team.
After a so-so start, the Trojans (2-0) settled in and played well in a tri-match at Tecumseh Saturday, sweeping Bellbrook 25-19, 25-13 and then host Tecumseh 25-23, 25-15 to start the new year.
“Usually, that’s the case. Our first game, even though we’d scrimmaged some tough teams, we were still working out the kinks,” Troy coach Michelle Owen said. “We started a little rough, and it took us a while to get into any kind of flow. We even got down 4-1 early (against Bellbrook), but we stayed even until about point 12, and that’s when we started to create some separation.”
Lauren Freed was solid against the Golden Eagles with nine kills, six digs and a block, Katie DeMeo added seven kills, two blocks and two digs and Ashton Riley had four kills, six assists and three digs. Miranda Silcott added two kills and three digs, Victoria Holland had a kill and four digs, Leslie Wynkoop had 21 assists and seven digs, Kaylie Marshall had three digs and Brittany Sullivan had two digs.
But after playing better in the second game against Bellbrook, the Trojans struggled once more to start against the host Arrows. And just like in the previous match, once the Trojans got into a rhythm, it was all over.
“Tecumseh played Bellbrook and won by close to the same scores, so I felt like that much was going to be tighter,” Owen said. “But we made a lot of errors in that first game, gave them a lot of points.”
The difference, it turned out, was some of that preseason work.
“We passed really well today and were in system a lot,” Owen said. “We played a pretty tough preseason schedule, and in practice we use a serving machine — and I set it really high. So when the girls know they can pass tougher serves and then see serves like these, it gives them a lot of confidence.
“And since we were in system, it allowed us to use Katie (DeMeo) a lot. And they just didn’t have an answer for her.”
DeMeo finished with nine kills and a block against Tecumseh, Freed had eight kills and seven digs, Drezenee Smith had four kills, Silcott and Camryn Moeller each had two kills, Riley had seven kills and two aces, Leslie Wynkoop had 10 assists and Dan Wynkoop had eight assists.
Troy hosts Tippecanoe on Tuesday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.