A brief glimmer of hope was provided in the opening moments as WG (who lost to the Bees in three-set sweeps on Sept. 11 and Oct. 8) took leads of 4-2 and 5-4, mostly because B’ville was finding it difficult to adjust to brand-new volleyballs it had not used in matches all season.
Despite that, and despite the effort from the Wildcats on every single point, B’ville’s execution took over, as it took the lead at 6-5 and gradually pulled away, using a series of point runs to eventually build a 25-15 winning margin.
By contrast, in the second set WG never led after surrendering the first two points. From a 3-2 lead, B'ville went on an 8-2 run, and stayed in control even though WG kept rallies alive with an all-out effort that, occasionally, led to points that drew the loudest roars of the night.
Still, the Bees' winning margin in that set was exactly the same as the first, 25-15. Usually enjoying a balanced front line, B'ville depended heavily on Madison Whitney, who delivered 16 kills, and main setter Meghann Smith, who put away 33 assists.
“They (B’ville) are extremely hard to beat, are well-coached and have got good players,” said Martin.
WG put up its best fight in the third set, constantly answering the Bees' points and tying it three times, including 13-13. When the Wildcats pulled within 21-20, B’ville called a rare time-out and, after it, got three straight points on its way to prevailing, 25-21, and ending the match.
Jessie Allen led the Wildcats, getting a team-high seven kills and four blocks, and adding nine digs. Courtney Shoults also had nine digs as Lynn Copeland contributed six digs and three kills, with Brianna Richardson adding four kills, two blocks and five digs. Kara Sweeney put together 13 assists as Hannah Bakowski got four digs and Katie McIntyre managed three digs.