MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Walters State got in one final tune-up Monday night at 'Z' Buda Gymnasium before the Region VII tournament, knocking off visiting Montreat Junior Varsity in a 3-0 sweep (25-12, 25-16, 25-6).
"We talked earlier this week about finishing out sooner and getting done as quick as we can," coach Megan Blaylock said. "Tonight they did it in the third set. They actually came to play."
None of the games were close, though the second contest opened up back-and-forth as the significant energy lull on Montreat's side of the court began to creep onto the Lady Senators' as well.
Walters State (19-7) kept a one to two-point cushion all through the early part of the second sent, but the continual errors from Cavaliers and all-but silent bench seemed to rub off on the Lady Senators and made the match closer than it should have been for the first 20 points.
"It's hard when the energy is low," Blaylock said. "We try to make our own energy, but it's hard to do when you see a team for the second time."
Finally, during the Lady Senators' second rotation with freshman Olivia Oxendine (Pensacola, Fla.) at the service line, the pedal was put to the metal. Walters State finished off five straight points to take a 17-12 lead and put a significant distance between the two teams.
Freshman Aubrey Cobb (Church Hill, Tenn.) all but finished off Montreat in her service, pushing the score to 22-15. Libero Alexis Wakefield (Portland, Tenn.) closed out the match at the line, serving the final two points.
The last frame was over almost from the first serve as the Lady Senators ran the Cavs off the court, 25-6. WSCC put the early lull and energy dip behind them to lay down a 40 percent kill percentage in the final frame.
"We like to let people play with us instead of getting it done," Blaylock said. "It's something we'll have to work on every year. It's hard when it's freshmen and sophomores all the time. It's a common mentality and it's hard to shake it. But they have to play like juniors and seniors."
As the final home game before the Region VII tournament begins Saturday at Chattanooga State, Walters State honored departing sophomores Wakefield and Courtney Dotson.
Freshman Hannah Daniel (Bristol, Tenn.) led the WSCC with eight kills on the day to go with four digs. Dotson finished with six kills and a team-leading 11 digs. Wakefield posted 10 digs. Freshman Jania Hill (Morristown, Tenn.) posted five service aces in the game and, as a team, the Lady Senators recorded 17.
While the game turned into a walk, it was a solid tune up to the upcoming tournament slate.
"It helps us prepare for this weekend's (Region VII) tournament, because we'll play those (Region VII) teams similarly," Blaylock said. "It was good preparation for that. "
Of course the real test comes after the tournament, in a final home game before the NJCAA national tournament begins as the Lady Senators welcome No. 5-ranked Catawba Valley College to 'Z' Buda Gymnasium. WSCC is undefeated at home this season, but has dropped two road contests to the Redhawks, a 3-0 loss at on Sept 25 at the Tarlton Complex in Hickory, N.C. and a 3-2 defeat in the Wallace State Invitational in Hanceville, Ala. on Oct. 12.
"That's the one to look at," Blaylock said. "It's the last home game of the season and that's important, but also because of the opponent. We took two sets off them in this past tournament in Alabama, so I hope we can build on that and show out in that last game."