Focus on the volleyball court can make all the difference as St. Thomas More and Carencro High found out Tuesday in a 25-10, 25-3, 25-7 victory for the Lady Cougars at home.
STM got out to a fast start, and although Carencro was able to string together some good points, the match was dominated by the Cougars.
“It was good,” STM coach Jessica Burke said after the match. “The girls looked good. We had fun. We stayed loose. It was fun to watch.”
STM’s Sarah Trotter led the Cougars offense with 12 kills and seven aces. She started early Tuesday with a big hit in the first game to put the Cougars up 2-1.
Carencro fought to keep up with STM’s powerful offense, staying within striking distance of taking the lead, down 7-5. But a lack of communication and focus from a young Bears team that includes three starting freshman kept things in the Cougars’ favor.
STM went on a nine-point run to lead Carencro, 15-5.
Moments later, leading 20-10 and battling a Carencro team that was beginning to find its rhythm, STM gathered on the sideline during a timeout. The word “finish” rang out around the St. Thomas More gym.
It served as a reminder to the players of what Burke said is a focus of her team’s this year — to close out games without giving up points to opponents.
And just like that, the Lady Cougars ended the match 25-10. STM brough that aggressiveness and focus to the remaining two games while Carencro struggled to find the cohesiveness it had in the first game.
“We started off the first game playing well, playing more as a team and then unfortunately, mentally, we didn’t have the focus that we had the first game and lost it,” Carencro coach Bea Lemon said. “And the mistakes just led from one mistake to another.”
At 8-2 in the second game, STM went on an 11-point run to put it up 18-2. Again, STM showed the focus to finish the match as Trotter slammed the ball down on Carencro’s side of the court to put the Cougars up 19-3 and then again a few points later to give STM a 21-3 lead.
Carencro didn’t score another point and STM would close out the game 25-3 before going on to take the third game 25-7. The Cougars, the defending Division II state champions, finished the night with 32 kills and 13 aces to improve their record to 28-7 for the season.
“It’s the end of the season so we’re excited to see what happens,” Burke said.