Williams, Mathews keep season going, beat Windham
CORTLAND — Morgan Williams has come to the realization her days as a hitter for the Mathews volleyball team are numbered. The senior is doing what she can to extend that number of days as much as possible.
The Mustangs kept her season going in a 25-21, 25-23, 27-25 victory over Windham in a Division IV Lakeview District first-round matchup Monday night at Lakeview.
“Today at school, I was thinking about the game and all I could think about was we’ve got to keep winning,” Williams said. “As soon as we stop, it’s over for me and the other seniors.”
Mathews (19-4) will play rival Maplewood in a sectional championship match Wednesday at 6:30. The Rockets (8-15) dropped Fairport Harbor Harding, 25-10, 25-18, 25-13, in another sectional championship Monday night.
“I think anybody can beat anybody on any given night,” Mathews coach Carole O’Dell said. “We just have to make sure we show up.”
In the third and deciding game against the Bombers (12-11), the Mustangs overcame a 16-8 deficit to knot the score at 24 following kills from Alivia Oulton and Sadie Bertock on consecutive points. A setting miscue gave Mathews the lead, 26-25, and Williams’ kill closed out the match.
“We have a tendency to get relaxed and calm down as soon as we get a win,” Williams said. “We get settled down. Coach called a timeout and out it in our heads we had to wake up. When we got down, she let us know we had to keep our foot on the gas pedal. We had to keep moving forward.”
In the first game, the Bombers took an 18-17 lead before back-to-back kills from Williams and Katarina Schubert put Mathews in front. A kill from Oulton and two aces from Noelle Migliozzi put the Mustangs up, 24-20, and a kill from Bertock gave Mathews the win.
The Bombers’ Lexi Knight did her best to turn momentum in favor of Windham with three kills. She combined that with a pair of aces from Sabrina Garl and Windham led, 10-1, to start the second game.
Williams jumpstarted the comeback for Mathews with a kill and a block on consecutive serves. Paige Sponsler followed suit a kill and consecutive aces to get the Mustangs within four, 12-8. Schubert’s kill had them within one, 17-16, before Knight again took control with three more kills to extend the Windham lead to 20-17.
“It was just key plays by different players,” O’Dell said. “We needed to go one point at a time and we couldn’t keep looking at the scoreboard.
“It’s a huge mental game and a huge momentum game. You just have to keep working hard and going after each and every point. It’s OK if the other team scores a point. You just have to be resilient.”
Williams’ block had Mathews back within a point, 22-21, and her kill gave the Mustangs the lead, 23-22. Another Williams kill made it 24-23 before a spiking error by the Bombers put Mathews up two games to none.
“They’re a very senior-heavy team,” Windham coach Lauren Seger said. “They’re a strong team. We’re very young. I’m honestly happy for how far we’ve come. The last time we played them, we had three quick losses. We’ve shown a lot of improvement from where we were to where we’re at.”