EDMONDS — The Stanwood volleyball team wasn’t pleased with its performance Tuesday, despite sweeping Shorecrest for a fourth consecutive victory.
The senior-laden Spartans have high standards, and they hadn’t met them.
Stanwood hit the reset button during Wednesday’s practice and then came out firing on all cylinders with a masterful showing Thursday night.
The visiting Spartans rattled off 18 consecutive points during a massive run that straddled the first and second sets, paving the way for a 25-20, 25-12, 25-20 sweep of Edmonds-Woodway in a showdown between two teams that entered the match unbeaten in Wesco 3A play.
“It was amazing,” Stanwood coach Megan Amundson said of her team’s performance. “We had a rough night on Tuesday, and so we talked about coming back to practice (Wednesday) and having a reset — coming in a new team.
“They did it (Wednesday), and they 100 percent did it tonight. It was just solid, easy, great volleyball.”
The opening set was a back-and-forth affair that featured 10 ties. Edmonds-Woodway built a 20-17 lead, but then came Stanwood’s run of 18 consecutive points.
Keyed by outside hitter Devon Martinka, the Spartans closed the opening frame with eight straight points to earn a 25-20 first-set win.
Martinka, a 6-foot-2 junior, recorded kills on three of the final five points, including an emphatic spike that capped the frame. She finished with a team-high 13 kills.
“She has really kind of come into her own this year,” Amundson said. “She’s always been a big hitter. She’s always been a really good hitter. But this year she’s taking on a lot more of a role on our team. And she’s taking it and running with it.”
The Spartans then carried the momentum into the ensuing frame, racing to a 10-0 lead on their way to a 25-12 second-set victory.
Amundson said her team’s serving and serve-receive keyed the pivotal 18-0 run.
“Our serving put great pressure on them,” she said. “And any time you can get a team out of system, it’s going to work well for you.”
Stanwood senior outside hitter Taylor Lamb had a stellar all-around performance with eight digs, seven aces and six kills. Junior libero Veaya Carter logged a team-high 14 digs for the Spartans (5-1 overall, 4-0 Wesco 3A), and senior setter Saylor Anderson had 31 assists and eight digs.
Stanwood senior middle blockers Emma Bash and Taya Shoemaker provided a strong net presence throughout the match, with Bash recording six kills and Shoemaker adding five.
“We really got our middles involved,” Amundson said. “They were up and running consistently. That’s something that we try to emphasize, but we haven’t always gotten done in the past. And so to have them up and have them as a part of our offense every time, it was huge.”
Stanwood has swept five consecutive matches since a season-opening loss to Bellevue, which placed sixth in the Class 3A state tournament last season.
“(We’ve) been doing a really good job of focusing on the details,” Amundson said. “And that’s what we keep coming back to. (We’re) just taking something away from every match and every practice, and just getting that little tiny bit better.
“We’re trying to look at our end goal here. We want to keep preparing ourselves for the end of the season.”
Senior outside hitter Sandra Young led Edmonds-Woodway (5-2, 4-1) with 13 kills and two blocks. Senior libero Sam Hardan added 12 digs and two aces, and junior setter Kristen Reijonen had 12 assists.
“If we had just capitalized in the first game, I think it would’ve changed the momentum for sure,” Warriors coach Nicole Bordeaux said. “But I think that shut us down mentally a little bit.
“I think it was just a good learning lesson for us to have to finish and to stay mentally checked in.”