Westwood volleyball team tops Hyde Park in home opener

Maddie Kriz, Maggie Stout and Emily Lowe combined for 22 kills as Westwood swept visiting Hyde Park 25-20, 25-17, 25-8 in non-district action Tuesday at the Warrior Fieldhouse.

Because of a grueling early-season schedule, the game marked the home opener for Westwood, excluding tournament play.

“We were actually nervous,” said head coach Tara Nelson. ” We hosted (tournament matches) but this was actually the first home match in front of our fans.”

The Warriors (18-11) struggled a bit with their passing as freshman setter Kenzie Beckham raced around the court to get in position. She still managed 11 assists while sophomore Emmalyne Patterson added eight assists.

“The preseason has gone by so fast,” Nelson said. “We start district (13-6A play) next Friday, and we only returned three seniors, so the young players are really getting thrown into it.”

Low, a senior middle blocker, and junior outside hitter Kriz are returning starters, while senior Lauren Gregorczyk has stepped into the libero role and anchored the Warrior defense. Gregorczyk and Kriz led the defense with nine digs each against Hyde Park.

“We really started sloppy in the first set but progressively got better,” said Nelson, pointing out 10 unforced errors by the Warriors in the first game.

Westlake led 19-11 in the opening game before a late Hyde Park rally closed the score.

Westwood led 5-3 in the second set and staged a 9-2 scoring run when Kriz and Low kicked it into gear. The third set was all Westwood as the Warriors jumped ahead 6-0 then led 9-5 before scoring 14 of the next 15 points to sail to the victory.

Low finished with eight kills, three blocks and two service aces while Stout and Kriz had seven kills apiece.

Kaiden Patch had six…

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