CENTERVILLE — In a surprisingly close volleyball tournament match against winless Wayne, the Xenia Buccaneers needed a spark.
And senior Macy Caupp was more than happy to oblige.
With her team up a set but tied at 15-all in the second, Caupp unleashed a bevy of serves that resulted in nine straight points, all but sealing the second set and eventually a 25-10, 25-17, 25-19 match win in a first-round sectional at Centerville. With Wayne threatening to steal the second set, Caupp knew just what Xenia needed at the time.
“I definitely did because there’s been past games where we had gotten down in the second set and ended up losing,” Caupp said.
Not this time.
During her savvy serving, Caupp had four aces — two in a row at the beginning and two in a row at the end of her run.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Caupp said. “The aces were just like a bonus.”
Coach Jessica Threats noticed the impact Caupp’s serving had.
“It was a big momentum shifter,” Threats said.
Junior Jada McAvene also gave Xenia (13-9) a lift, seemingly coming up with a big hit every time Xenia needed a point. She finished with 13 kills, five above her per-match average, and several other winners with well-timed tips. McAvene also had three aces during a four-serve effort that helped Xenia pull away in the final set.
“She definitely knows how to finish,” Threats said.
Despite the two Bucs standing out, it was — as many coaches like to say — a total team effort.
Junior Haley McManus recorded 23 assists, while junior Sydney Shuttleworth had 14 digs from the all-important libero position. Kendall Sherman added six kills and Caupp finished with five aces. McManus was also involved in other ways, coming up with a few well-placed hits when Warriors were caught scrambling out of position.
Those solid stats were made possible, in part, by improved interaction on the court. Xenia players could be heard talking while the ball was in the air, which led to fewer breakdowns and errors.
“We’ve been working on our communication,” Threats said. “I was most impressed with them stepping up and doing that. It was a pretty good match. Definitely ready for the next one.”
Xenia takes on top-seeded Lebanon at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Centerville.