For the Davis High girls volleyball team, Wednesday’s home match against Woodland started out all wrong.
But after dropping the first set 30-28, the Blue Devils managed to battle back, taking the last three games, 25-15, 25-17, 26-24, to secure the win and a 2-0 record to start the season.
Opening up the match on a 3-0 run, DHS looked poised to steamroll the Wolves. The visitors clawed their way back into the game, however, utilizing a couple of big runs to pull ahead and take a 23-21 advantage.
The rest of the set was a see-saw affair, with the lead and the momentum swinging from team to team. Woodland finally managed to put two points together after eight points of extra play, grabbing the set and an early advantage.
“We got off to kind of a slow start,” said Devil coach Julie Crawford. “And we just kind of talked about what adjustments we needed to make.”
Those adjustments definitely made a difference, as Davis’ hitters began blasting away at the Wolves. The local tag team of senior Maya Gilardi and sophomore Karlie Kijanka barraged the opposing side of the net with a blizzard of spikes, which, combined with some good local serving and a handful of Woodland miscues, secured Game 2 for the Devils.
And DHS didn’t waste the momentum garnered in the second set, as it never once trailed in the third game. Almost every player on the team got into the spiking act and, aside from a last-gasp comeback attempt by the visitors, the Blue Devils rolled.
With an 11-5 lead in Game 4, Davis looked ready to close things out. The Wolves, however, were not ready to say goodbye. Instead, WHS shut down the Devil machine, eventually snatching a narrow lead of 23-21.
But, just like in the opening set, the Wolves stalled when it came time to take the game — and unlike in the first set, DHS took advantage of the opportunity. The locals closed the game on a 5-1 run, with a spike from senior Rebecca Monachello providing the final blow.
“There were a couple of times where we had to come from behind and we did,” Crawford said. “That’s always kind of how my teams are, and I never give up on them because I know that they can pull out any type of win.”
In the victory, Gilardi was excellent all-around, finishing with a .448 hitting percentage, and leading the team in serves with 26. Kijanka was the Wolves’ worst nightmare as her 16 kills on the night were a team high. Libero Samantha Moore was the team’s defensive leader, posting 26 digs, while Makena Sherwood kept DHS rolling with 46 assists.
Wednesday’s match was the second of three straight home outings for the Blue Devils, who take on Dixon at The Cage on Thursday (6 p.m.).
The two teams have never met in the years Crawford has been coaching at Davis, so the Rams come in as complete unknowns.
“I don’t know anything about (Dixon),” Crawford said. “It’ll be kind of exciting, and another little local rivalry game.”
— Reach Spencer Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org