Moon ends two-year section win drought with win over Canon-McMillan
By Sarah Heastings
The Moon Area High School girls’ volleyball team earned its first section win in two years with a dramatic three set sweep over rival Canon-McMillan on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The Tigers won by scores of 25-16, 27-25 and 25-22.
Despite entering the match with an 0-4 record on the season, the Tigers were confident that they would come away with the win. After Moon’s disappointing loss to Canon-McMillan last season, the Tigers came prepared for a fight.
“Last year we went to five games and then we lost,” senior Marissa McGinness said. “It’s a good thing that we won all three games.”
“The hype is real,” added sophomore Sanaea Simmons said of the win.
Using the home crowd to their advantage, the Tigers looked strong from the start.
Though evenly matched, Moon maintained its composure. The two teams exchange points between well fought rallies. Canon-McMillan took an early lead, but by 7-6, the Tigers had shifted the momentum in their favor.
Moon executed clean, quick passes, forcing the Big Macs to make errors. Each of the seven starters positively contributed to the win, drawing in the crowd and raising the energy level inside the gymnasium.
“This year we are more bonded,” McGinness said. “We’re more comfortable.”
“Everyone played together. There was a lot of communication and a lot trust,” head coach Sarah Durham said. “I think it took a while to develop that because I do change the lineup quite a bit… but having depth of a lot of talent is one of our strengths.”
As confidence levels rose, so did Moon’s intensity. Their energy spiked going into the second match, however, they had difficulty controlling it and settling back into their dominant pace. The Big Macs held the lead until both teams were tied at seven.
Senior Sarah Ellis and Simmons stepped up to regain a slight lead for the Tigers. The two teams exchanged points and errors, keeping the score within one until the end. The Tigers took the second match 27-25.
Heading into the third and final match, both benches were surging with energy. Moon was hungry for a section win, and Canon-McMillan was equally as eager to take it away from them.
The Big Macs came out with an aggressive start. Lead by junior outside hitter Morgan Patterson and sophomore setter Morgan Galligan, they took a commanding 8-1 lead before the struggling Tigers called for a time out.
After they dispersed, they Tigers began to find their rhythm once again. Though the Big Macs maintained the lead, Moon cut it shorter with each play. The two teams met at 16, and just two points later the Tigers had the momentum back in their favor.
With the Big Macs visibly crumbling, the Tigers went on the offensive. Simmons and Ellis pounded kills across the net, while McGinness demolished Canon-McMillan’s back line with aces.
With a score of 24-22 in favor of Moon, McGinness sent the ball soaring over the net for the match point.
The Tigers look to take away their positive energy from this match, and keep it moving into their next match against Baldwin on Thursday, Sept. 21.
“Remember the feeling and carry it on,” Simmons said of her plan for continuing the team’s success.