DANVILLE — The Schlarman Academy volleyball didn’t play a match for the first three weeks of the season.
Instead, the Hilltoppers, who reached the Class 1A Elite Eight a year ago, spent all of that time practicing.
“It was a little rough,’’ Schlarman coach Heidi Crane admitted. “More than three weeks of practice can get old after a while. And it was hard to see what we need to work on because we kept seeing the same thing in practice.’’
On Tuesday night, in their second Vermilion Valley Conference match of the year, the Hilltoppers saw a very strong performance result in a 25-4, 25-16 victory over the Armstrong-Potomac Trojans.
“It was really tiring,’’ said Schlarman senior Janelle Marion of the lengthy preseason practice routine. “We were really excited to get the season started last week.’’
Schlarman opened the year with a win over Bismarck-Henning last Thursday and this past weekend, the Hilltoppers went 2-3 at the Jacksonville Tournament, playing four Class 3A teams and one Class 4A team.
“We came in with a determination that we will not take anything for granted, we are going to come out strong and hard,’’ Marion added.
And that was exactly what the Hilltoppers did on Tuesday night.
Schlarman scored 19 straight points in the first set on the serve of Jordan Marganski with Marion contributing five of her match-high nine kills during the stretch, while Laura Gross chipped in with four.
“Jordan did a great job of serving,’’ Crane said. “Basically, the girls were following the ball well. They were covering everything and the girls at the net were making sure do their job, putting up the blocks when necessary.’’
Armstrong-Potomac, which falls to 7-2 overall and 2-1 in the VVC, saw a 2-2 first set turn into a 21-2 deficit en route to a 25-4 loss in the opening set.