MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets picked up a four-set win Tuesday over West Holmes, defending their home floor on Senior Night.
“I think we ended on a good note,” senior Emma Barteau said. “It was a good game for Senior Night. … In our huddle, coach was like, ‘Let’s do it for the seniors,’ and I think we did that.”
The Jackets started out strong in the first set, with senior Sarah Day’s kill pushing the home lead to 6-2, forcing an early Knight timeout. West Holmes rallied to cut the lead to 6-4, but Mount Vernon continued to pile on. A Jordan Reeder kill put the lead to 11-5, before the visitors clawed back in, cutting the lead to 12-11. A tip by senior Lily Burnside nudged the home team ahead 16-11. Yet again, West Holmes found its way back in, cutting the lead to one on four occasions late in the set, but never able to take the lead. Senior Laney Short notched two aces, followed by a kill from senior Maddie Muncie to close out the set, 25-19.
The Jackets jumped out of the gates to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but three-straight Knights points tied the set up. After six more ties, the Jackets found themselves down 13-10 after an ace from Chloe Roach. Mount Vernon climbed back in to things and a kill by Barteau put the home team ahead 16-14. A five-point run by the visitors later in the set put the Jackets in a 24-20 hole and a tip by Megan Jones ended the set at 25-21.
“I think we definitely lost focus.” Mount Vernon coach Courtney Rabold said. “We kind of relaxed a little bit, which we have been known for this whole year. … It’s something that we need to improve on and something we are going to focus on in the next week to get ready for tournaments.”
The seniors came to play in the fourth set. Barteau, Burnside and Laney each notched a point, while Muncie recorded two points and the Knights committed an error, and Mount Vernon found itself up 6-0. Off a Jacket error, West Holmes cut the lead to two on two different occasions (6-4, 8-6), but that was as close as it could get. A kill by Emma Summerfield, followed by a Muncie kill put the Jackets ahead 16-8 and a kill by Barteau later put the home team up 20-10. Mount Vernon held on for the 25-14 win to secure the four-set victory.
“I think it was a night we are not going to forget,” Rabold said. “We have five great seniors that have put a lot into this program over the last four years and I knew going into this that it was going to be very emotional. We had to be focused. We came out with a W, which was great, but it was all for the seniors.”
Barteau was one of the top cogs for the Jackets, notching 12 kills, which tied for the team lead, as well as seven digs.
“I think (I was seeing the court well),” Barteau said. “Senior Night also had a part in that. I really wanted to do my best tonight.”
Tying Barteau in kills was fellow senior Muncie, who finished with 12 kills. Rounding out the senior contributions, Day notched nine kills and three digs, Burnside paced the team with 37 kills, filling out her stat line with three kills and 20 digs. Senior libero Short recorded 40 digs and four assists.
“It’s scary because they are huge shoes to fill, especially considering they all started,” Rabold said of her seniors’ efforts. “I’ve got younger girls fighting for their position and wanting their position, but again, it is huge shoes to fill, on top of just a lot of hard work.”
At the net, Summerfield had seven kills, while Jordan Reeder kicked in five and Kylie Ransom and Brooke Rademacher combined for three. Weezy Fiorilli was stout in the back line with 14 digs, with Cora Lepley finishing with seven and Maddy Burdette adding another six. Summerfield, Ransom and Rademacher combined for six.
The Jackets are done for the regular season. They return to action for the tournament, taking on either Delaware or Thomas Worthington Thursday.