Keeping the Defense Strong

Maplewood’s Maddy Woge, left, earned 16 digs and three aces in the District 10 Class 2A Semifinal match against Fairview. Maplewood coach Shelia Bancroft gave praised toward Woge’s efforts at the game.

The Maplewood Tigers girls volleyball team cruised to a mostly easy victory over the Fairview Tigers Wednesday, sweeping them in all three sets by large point differences.

In fact, the only set without a double digit score differential was the first match, where Maplewood won 25-19. The team kept the gap wide in the following sets, triumphing 25-14 and 25-13.

Chloe Leech and Maggie Thomas led the attack for Maplewood, each contributing nine kills across three sets. Leech also pitched in three digs, while Thomas put up two blocks. Kristen Motter, Sadie Thomas and Kaysea Thomas each nailed three kills apiece.

However, Maplewood coach Shelia Bancroft focused her praise on Maddy Woge, who had a strong defensive showing with 16 digs. Bancroft said Woge “set the tone” for the matches.

“She dug up some big shots early in the middle of the match and we just sort of shut their middles down from thereon,” Bancroft said.

The coach thought that, while the team’s offensive was “balanced,” they had some defensive gaps she was glad Woge was able to see to in order to secure Maplewood the win.

Woge also contributed three aces, while Bailey Varndell represented the most helpful of Maplewood’s players with her 22 assists.

Despite the victory, Bancroft had reservations over the number of errors her team had throughout the matches. She hopes to limit those for the championship match.

“We have to be able to place the ball better on Saturday,” she said.

Maplewood will face-off against Corry, a team the Tigers have had an inconsistent record in facing. Maplewood swept Corry during the regular season match on Sept. 18, only to suffer defeat at the hands of the Beavers in the last two regular season tournament championship games.

“I think it’ll be a good match,” Bancroft said. “Corry is a very good team.”

The Maplewood coach predicted the match will go to whichever team makes the fewest errors. She’s hoping that will be accomplished by the Tigers.

Maplewood will face Corry in the District 10 Class 2A Championship match on Saturday, at a place and time to be determined.

Ray can be reached, by email, at

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