RANDOLPH - The way Allegany-Limestone coach Frank Martin sees it, there are three things a team must achieve if they have any hopes of defeating the Randolph Lady Cardinals volleyball squad this season.
First, minimize mistakes.
Second, don't allow Randolph to go on any long scoring runs.
Randolph’s Cierra Farmer (12) makes one of her six blocks while teammate Miranda Gross (6) is also ready to defend at the net during Wednesday’s East 1 volleyball match against Allegany-Limestone. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Rob Tucker
And third, keep McKenna Maycock, owner of one of the more powerful spikes in the area, from getting in rhythm.
Unfortunately for Martin and his Lady Gators, on Wednesday they were unable to accomplish any of those objectives.
Maycock slammed home a season-high 26 kills, Alexis Terrette and Lindsey Chase helped to provide some long scoring runs while serving and Allegany-Limestone made a number of costly unforced errors in a winnable first set as Randolph earned a three-game sweep in East 1 Division action, 25-22, 25-9 and 25-12.
"Randolph is a good team," Martin said. "You've got to bring your A-game when you play them because when you don't play well, you get beat."
The Lady Cardinals (6-0, 2-0) were at their most vulnerable in the opening set, committing a few errors of their own and allowing Allegany-Limestone (1-3, 0-2) to get out to, and maintain, a lead for much of the game.
But four service errors - a pair of serves sailed wide and out of bounds and another pair came up short and hit the net - allowed the Lady Cardinals to make up ground and regain the lead late, 19-17.
A pair of kills by Maycock, a block by Cierra Farmer and one more Allegany-Limestone serve that sailed long on game-point gave Randolph the come-from-behind victory.
Farmer finished with a match-high six blocks.
"I thought we started out strong - just too strong," Randolph coach Robin Maycock said with a laugh. "They weren't really mistakes, though, it was more that we were being overly aggressive and hitting (balls) out.
"But once we settled in I thought we played a much better game than we have been. It looked really good."
Perhaps disappointed in their inability to put the hosts away in game one, or perhaps due to Randolph easing into the match, Allegany-Limestone struggled to side out in the second set as Terrette, with a 12-8 lead, delivered eight straight points to give her squad a comfortable cushion, 20-9.
Another five points in a row by Chase, including three service winners, gave the Lady Cardinals the two-game advantage and essentially ended any Lady Gator hopes of victory.
"Randolph is consistent," Martin said. ''They will not beat themselves. And I thought we struggled. We had some service errors, some hitting errors and some passing errors. You can't afford to let Randolph stay in a run like that."
Allegany-Limestone showed some life in the third, building an early 4-1 lead. But the Randolph deficit soon became a Randolph advantage as McKenna Maycock again found what Martin had hoped to make her avoid - a rhythm.
Maycock had four kills in the first 10 points and five more over the last seven points that, combined with Chase's eight straight points while serving, converted a four-point lead, 12-8, into a commanding, 12-point edge, 24-12.
"When you give McKenna Maycock too many opportunities she's going to make you pay," Martin said. "It's difficult when you let her get in a rhythm and get comfortable, and I thought she got in a rhythm tonight. She dictated a lot of the tempo."
The Lady Cardinals will look to keep their unblemished record intact on Monday when they battle with host Cattaraugus-Little Valley.
Robin Maycock, who has been pleased with her team's play thus far, is looking forward to it.
"That's the test," she said with a smile.