That problem was addressed in practice on Wednesday and executed on Thursday as the Mavericks recorded 14 block kills and defeated Edmonds-Woodway 3-1 by set scores of 25-22, 20-25, 25-16 and 25-18.
"We didn't have a single block kill against Everett and that to us was just not OK," Meadowdale coach Machen Shrum said. "We were not closing at the block. The outsides were moving away from the block. We really focused in practice (Wednesday) footwork and closing the block."
The Mavericks ability to block the Warriors at the net took some of the pressure off other parts of their game.
"We got a lot of kills tonight, but it wasn't as high of a kill night as some nights and that's because we didn't have to because we got so many block kills," Shrum said.
The Mavericks might still have been recovering from Tuesday's loss to Everett early against Edmonds-Woodway. The Warriors took a 20-16 advantage in the first set before Meadowdale scored nine of the set's final 11 points to take a 1-0 advantage.
The Warriors bounced back in the second set leading by as many as 11 and winning 25-20 to even the match at a game apiece.
But the Mavericks dominated the final two sets to improve their record to 2-1 on the season.
"We're really working individual roles and we're working on, as a team, that we have a purpose for every single game and every play," Shrum said. "I just reminded them of that, as to what our vision is -- the motto of our year is vision -- and what your individual purpose is and what your team purpose is. I think that got their brains on the right track to come back and play."
Shrum said losing to Everett, which opened the season with victories over Stanwood, Glacier Peak and Meadowdale, was an eye-opener for the Mavericks.
"I think we needed the Everett match to really point out to me what a lot of our weaknesses were and what we were having to work on and we really put a focus on that," Shrum said.
Meadowdale's Sloane Morrison led the Mavericks with 13 kills, many of which came late in the final set to help put the Warriors away.
"Sloane can do just about anything," Shrum said. "Sometimes she plays it safe because she doesn't want to make an error and she knows how important it is to keep the ball in play. So I gave her permission essentially to just swing and fire away."
It was the first loss of the season for the Warriors, who opened the season with victories over Bothell and Inglemoor.
Warriors head coach Nicole Bordeaux said her team didn't play well enough defensively to stay unbeaten. Much like the loss to Everett was for the Mavericks, Thursday's defeat could serve a similar purpose for Edmonds-Woodway.
"I think this was a good wake-up call for our girls," Bordeaux said. "They know they are going to see teams just as good as Meadowdale if not a little bit stronger in our league. So it was kind of a growing point for us to kind of pick it up and keep looking forward to the next match."
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Meadowdale H.S.
Edmonds-Woodway 22 25 16 18 -- 1
Meadowdale 25 20 25 25 -- 3
Highlights--Edmonds-Woodway: Julia Hutchison 31 digs; Sid Eck seven kills, 5½ block kills; Amanda Paavoloa three aces, four kills. Meadowdale: McKenna Williams six kills, six block kills; Sloane Morrison 13 kills; Amy Rickel 25 digs; Tara Fishback 28 assists; Kaylan Cummins nine kills. Records--Edmonds-Woodway 2-1, Meadowdale 2-1.
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