On Thursday evening, the Rams (10-4) brought their “A” game in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Bulldogs (0-12) of Bowie State University, winning by scores of 25-12, 25-5, and 25-4.
From the onset, it was clear that the Bulldogs were outmatched, as they never really got into a good groove. On offense, the Bulldogs could not get the ball past the Rams’ defense, while on the defensive side things did not go much better for the Bulldogs.
A prime evidence of the Bulldogs’ lackluster offensive performance can be indicated by the eight kills they recorded in the match. Simply put, anywhere the Bulldogs tried to place the ball, the Rams were ready, which caused a long match of frustrations for the Bulldogs. Milleysha Molina-Ontero of the Rams was a main source of the Bulldogs’ frustrations, as she posted a team-high seven digs for the Rams.
On the opposite side, the Rams posted 30 kills of their own, as the Bulldogs could not corral the ball when needed. Sophomore outside hitter Cambriea Hill, senior outside hitter Amanda Snowden, and sophomore middle hitter Seone Goode led the Rams in kills with 11, 10, and seven, respectively, as the Rams showcased a balanced attack.
In the match, freshman setter Bianca Tucker led the Bulldogs with three saves. The Bulldogs as a team could not string together good sets and volleys for their hitters to capitalize on, and even when they did, the Rams were there to respond to the challenge.
As a team, the Bulldogs had just seven assists, while all of the Rams’ 23 assists came courtesy of junior setter Becca Kern. Kern set up her teammates with numerous quality lobs and passes.
The Bulldogs also displayed great difficulties fielding the ball off of serves, as the Rams earned 16 aces in the match. Kern displayed great ball placement, as she earned nine of the ace points.Even though the Rams executed very well in the match, the Bulldogs committed many self-inflicting errors that ended up costing them deeply in the match.
Freshman outside hitter Syndey Tucker led the Bulldogs with two blocks, as she demonstrated great timing on her jumps. However, the Bulldogs’ offense was stagnant the whole match, as freshman outside hitter/setter/middle blocker Oladia Menchaca, redshirt-sophomore defensive specialist/outside hitter Brianna Myers, and junior outside hitter/middle blocker Brittainy Houck posted a relatively low team-high two kills each.
However, despite all of the success the Rams had in the match, it did not affect their mentality, as the Rams remained razor-sharp and focused.
Even with the score out of reach, the Rams put fourth great effort throughout the match, as they won the dig battle 28-18 in the match, diving for any ball they could to keep in play.
Hill and Kern had six and five of these digs, respectively, finishing just behind Molina-Ontero for the team lead in the victory.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org