Morley Stanwood volleyball finishes strong at home

MORLEY — The seniors on the Morley Stanwood volleyball team wanted to leave a lasting impression during their final regular season home matches on Wednesday.

They did so doing what they do best on their home floor: Win.

The Mohawks took a pair of matches against Hesperia (25-16 and 25-16) and Lakeview (25-15, 25-21) on Wednesday, remaining perfect in CSAA play at 14-0 and 41-6-2 overall.

It was the last regular season match for the seniors on Morley Stanwood, who put on a fittingly dominant show for the crowd.

KILL: Morley Stanwood's Alexis Huntey goes up for the kill during Wednesday's volleyball action. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

Although the Mohawks will participate in districts on their home court, senior Bailey Cairnduff said it was nice to play in front of the fans again.

“It’s been a really special four years,” said Cairnduff, who has played all four of her years on the varsity team along with classmate Alexis Huntey. “We just wanted to play hard for the fans.”

The Mohawks were in cruise control for their opening match against Hesperia, despite only leading 11-9 early.

Morley Stanwood began to pull away by setting up Huntey, whose kill attempts were too much for the Panthers.

An ace by Brett Chesebro gave Morley Stanwood an 18-10 lead it would not let go of.

Morley Stanwood was led by Huntey, who had 22 kills and 23 digs. Freshman Kayla Rosman finished with nine kills, 18 digs and six blocks. Cairnduff added 15 assists and six aces, while senior Melissa Holland added 12 assists. Brianna Wiersema had five blocks.

Morley Stanwood coach Robin Kozuch said she feels her team is close to being where she wants them to be heading into the postseason.

“We’re not quite at our peak,” she said. “We have a tournament this weekend that should help them get ready. The seniors are obviously excited about trying to make that run in the postseason.”

Kozuch was quick to point out that while Huntey, Cairnduff, Abigail Vernon, Alyssa Nelson and Holland have all contributed their talents to the Mohawks on the court, it has been a pleasure to coach a group of special individuals.

“We’re going to miss all of their contributions to the program,” she said. “Not only has this group gotten academic all-state, but they’ve all gotten the individual academic all-state honors. They’ve been so integral to our success.”

Against Lakeview, the Mohawks came out firing on all cylinders, building an 8-1 lead in the first game.

The Mohawks were active getting to balls in open space, controlling Lakeview’s kill attempts throughout the match.

Huntey added a kill to give Morley Stanwood a 9-2 lead, while Cairnduff added a kill with an assist from Holland to make it 15-12.

In the second game, the Mohawks again broke out to an early 14-5 lead, following a kill by Rosman. The Wildcats would stage a run to make things interesting, cutting the lead to 23-21, but Morley Stanwood was able to get back in control.

“We got out to a big lead, and sometimes when you do that you tend to lay off a little bit,” Kozuch said. “Lakeview is a good team, and I think we realized that we can’t take them for granted.”

Although Rosman provided plenty of offense for the Mohawks, she said the night belonged to the seniors.

“This was our seniors’ last regular season home game,” she said. “We’ve only got a couple weeks left in the season, so we want to continue to work together and get better.”

Morley Stanwood is in action on Saturday at the St. Louis Invitational.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from Wednesday’s matches.

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