Bailey Santo’s official positon is right-side hitter for the Rose Hill volleyball team. But she also digs, she sets - she’s playing defense for the first time ever.
Santo is a senior now. With her experience comes this wisdom …
And how do the Rockets gather momentum?
“Kills,” Santo replied.
And Santo is still a killer at heart. Her aggressive, front-line nature showed as Rose Hill defeated Maize on Tuesday in what some would consider a upset.
Maize controlled the first set, 25-17. Maize was up 21-20 in the second.
Then Rose Hill’s front line took over, as Maize coach Betsy Manning tried to stop that momentum to no avail.
“We went from being an offensive minded team to being a defensive minded team,” she said. “When you control the pace and you’re the one swinging, you can play. When you’re back on your heels and trying to dig everything up, it’s a lot harder.”
Rose Hill won that pivotal second set against Maize, 25-23.And that seemed to break Maize’s spirit.
The Rockets completely dominated the Eagles in the third set – leading by scores of 10-2, 16-6 and 21-10 before finally putting the match away, 25-12.
Rose Hill coach Melissa Segovia said the Rockets were able to capture that crucial second set with the time-tested “one point at a time” mentality.
“We were executing,” she said “We were able to utilize our setter and our hitters. Things started going our way. We passed the ball, set the ball, killed the ball. Our players forgot about their errors. They just said, ‘Let’s capitalize on the next one.”
Maize’s coach was only slightly angry.
“I said it before and I’ll say it again: This is the time of year you get better, and you can peak later,” Manning said. “We’ve got to swing more. We’ve got too many weapons, we’ve got too many strong hitters, we’ve got too many big girls to go down tipping. That’s not good enough.”
Rose Hill improved to 5-1; Maize is now 9-3.
Andover Central fell to 3-7 under first-year coach Rachel Tyner , whose Jaguars lost in straight sets to Rose Hill (25-17, 25-19) and Maize (25-12, 12-17).
“Both losses were disappointing, just because we’re not putting everything together,” Tyner said. “We’re competing with good teams and we have a very talented group of girls … but we have to stay intense at all times, or teams are going to walk all over us.”