Mater Dei girls finally figure it out
When Mater Dei girls volleyball coach Adam Cutrell sees his team hit a bad stretch, he opts for a simple approach.
"We noticed last week in practice that it just takes a little bit of time to get in rhythm," he said. "Stopping and talking through things doesn't really help them. Calling a timeout never really helps them."
So as the fourth-ranked Monarchs trailed by six points late in the first set against third-ranked Corona del Mar, Cutrell let the players work things out.
It worked as Mater Dei (2-0) rallied to win the first two sets and cruised in the third to complete the 25-22, 25-23, 25-14 home victory over Corona del Mar (0-2) on Wednesday night
"As soon as we got into the match, we started playing more as a team," senior defensive specialist Kelli Ferraro said. "He (Cutrell) likes to let us figure things out and work to get over the next play and to keep moving forward."
Mater Dei trailed,18-12, in the first set and eventually caught CdM at 20-20 on a kill from Sara Hughes.
Later, at 22-22, Mater Dei scored the final three points to seal the victory.
Corona del Mar led, 9-3 and 12-7, in the second set, but the Monarchs again stayed within striking distance, tying the set at 17-17.
This time with the score 23-23, Frankie Shebby, who led the Mater Dei with 17 kills, gave the Monarchs the lead on a kill and the set ended on a hitting error from CdM.
With all of the slow starts out of the system, the Monarchs jumped out to a 14-4 in the third set and never looked back.
"We expected to do that from the start," Ferraro said of the third set. "It didn't work out our way, but we finished strong and that's all we can really ask for."
Hughes added eight kills for Mater Dei. Jayden Pickell had six and Skylar Hubler five.
Hughes (20) and Avery Taylor (14) combined for 34 assists for the Monarchs.
Hayley Hodson led CdM with 11 kills. Shannon Griffin and Grace Kennedy had six apiece.
Both teams will now turn their attention to this weekend's Durango Fall Classic in Las Vegas. Mater Dei and Corona del Mar are top seeds in their pools.
The tournament begins Friday afternoon.
In another nonleague match
No. 9 Orange Lutheran 3, Vista Murrieta 0: Taylor Wheatley had 12 kills to lead the host Lancers (7-1) to the 27-25, 25-16, 29-27 victory.
Vista Murrieta is ranked fifth in this week's CIF-SS Division 1AA poll.
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