Monticello volleyball has been tested repeatedly during Jefferson District play, so when the Mustangs got locked in a five-game thriller with Turner Ashby Monday night in the first round of the Region 3C tournament, they were ready.
“We’ve really worked on cleaning up our execution in intense matches and not changing our aggressiveness, not changing our game plan just because another team has a couple of runs on us,” said Monticello coach Meg Laughlin.
Monticello didn’t diverge from the plan Monday night, beating Turner Ashby 3-2 with a 15-12 win in game five sealing it for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs’ defense was relentless with five players notching 11 or more digs on the night, led by Carrie Devine and Anne Krehmeyer’s 14 digs each. That helped the Mustangs overcome a challenging TA front line that forced the Mustangs to work for everything offensively.
“Our defense was fantastic, everyone just put everything out there,” Devine said. “I think our defense was just going for everything.”
Lyndsey Stemland was critical to that defensive effort with 13 digs and six blocks and Katie O’Connor finished with 12 digs while Sophie Koch chipped in 11. Maria Plantz put together four blocks on the front line to bolster the Mustangs’ defense.
On offense, Devine anchored the Mustangs with 43 assists at setter and she repeatedly found Koch and Stemland who finished with 16 and 13 kills respectively. Maria Platz also had a big night with nine kills while Amelia Koch notched seven.
The Mustangs advance to the Region 3C quarterfinals where they’ll face Rockbridge Tuesday night at 6 p.m. on the road.
Scrimmage Play correspondent Delaney White contributed to this story