Central kept things close early, but Parkview Baptist’s size at the net and experience proved to be the difference in the volleyball season opener for both teams.
Parkview prevailed 3-1 by scores of 25-17, 23-25, 25-16 and 25-16 Tuesday at Parkview. Central showed in its second set victory that it may be ready for another playoff run this season. Central advanced to the Division II regionals last season.
Parkview was a Division III quarterfinalist last season and has two All-Metro players returning in Macey Stock and Christy Dearie. Stock, the libero, had 18 digs. The 5-foot-11 Dearie showed her versatility with eight kills, nine digs, two aces and two blocks.
Parkview middle blockers Cameron Forbes (6-foot) and Wesley Foreman (6-1) added nine and eight kills.
“It’s a great start to the season for us,” Parkview coach Becky Madden said. “This group really works well together. At times, we had three sophomores and three juniors on the court; so the amazing thing is we’re only going to get better.”
Madden said she was pleased with the play of sophomore setter Neely Burns, who had 28 assists and is a first-year starter.
“Neely did a good job of running the team,” Madden said. “She really has the brain for setting. She also keeps the defense honest and can score on tips from the front row.”
The second set was tied nine times with the last coming at 21-21. Central’s Madaline Tarver scored the next three points, finding open spots on the backrow on two occasions. Parkview’s Foreman had a kill to cut the deficit to 24-23. Kelsey Cooke had the winning hit for the Wildcats.
Central led 9-7 in the third set. Parkview went on a 13-3 run to lead 20-12 on Reagan Smith’s kill.
Parkview surged to an 11-4 lead in the fourth set. With senior Heather Clement serving, Central rallied to within 15-11. Parkview began to pull away with strong net play. Sophomore Skyler Goodwin had two kills in the fourth set.
“Our serving was good tonight,” Madden said.
Central coach Central coach Michele Lebouef said her team played well.
“We started slow in every set and then really started getting it going,” Lebouef said. “Parkview is a very strong team. I was most impressed by our middles, Brandy Wilson and Madaline Tarver. We still have some young players to put in roles. We’ll figure it out.”
Central libero Kathryn Mancuso had 18 digs and two assists. Tarver had six kills and two blocks. Wilson added eight kills, three blocks and an assist. Junior twins Kaitlyn Cooke (18 assists, seven digs) and Kelsey Cooke (nine kills, three digs) were active players.