OSWEGO — The Oswego varsity girls volleyball team swept Auburn, 3-0, in its home opener on Wednesday.
The Lady Buccaneers won 25-18, 25-21 and 25-15.
Mary Culeton finished with five kills, five aces and a block. Alyssa Morley chipped in nine assists and three aces, while Hannah Holland tallied two kills, two digs and four assists. Lilyann Mathews added five digs and an ace.
The theme for Oswego in each of the three sets was getting a good jump on Auburn. The Lady Maroons ignited a handful of comebacks, but the Lady Bucs quickly shut the door on Auburn taking any opportunity to close a set in their favor.
“I think our passing got in the way of our abilities and failure to communicate (at first), but we ended up coming through and executing what we needed to do,” Oswego coach Tom Grover said. “Winning in three is the objective every game.”
Oswego took a commanding 8-0 lead in the first set, backed by a slew of solid serves from Morley along with heads-up offense at the net.
The Lady Bucs carried there lead to 11-1 with serves a big part of the success, this time from Culeton.
Auburn made things interesting with a 9-3 run midway through the first set, slicing the deficit to 14-10. Caitlin Lilly, however, put the momentum back on Oswego’s side with a soft tap over the net for a point and a 15-10 advantage.
Later in the set, Auburn cut it to 16-13 off of Oswego’s miscues. The Lady Bucs got back into the swings back shortly after, taking a 20-13 lead. Oswego held off Auburn the rest of the way to win 25-18 and tab a 1-0 match lead.
In the second set, Oswego and Auburn found themselves in an early 3-3 tie. The Lady Bucs tacked on three points, one off of block at the top of the net from Victoria Tripp.
Tripp provided some good serves further into the set, which led to Oswego going up 10-5. Oswego was starting to run away with the set at 15-7, and later on got a block from Culeton to bulk its advantage to 18-9.
Later in the second set, Oswego had a 22-10 lead, thanks in part to Tripp’s strong defensive effort in the front of the net.
Auburn gave Oswego a bit of a scare toward the end of the second set. Going on a 9-1 run, the Lady Maroons made the score 23-19. But the Lady Bucs locked in and snatched the set at 25-21 for a 2-0 match on the scoreboard.
The Lady Maroons came out of the gate hot in the third set, taking an early 5-2 lead. Oswego managed to knot the score at 7-7, and grabbed the lead at 8-7 on a kill from Caitlin Lilly.
The score was tied again, this time at 9-9, but Oswego zipped through some Auburn blunders for a 12-9 lead.
The score was tied for a third time in the set (14-14). Oswego then rode a 6-0 run for a 20-14. Culeton delivered a row of good serves that ended in a few aces. Oswego went on to win 25-15 in the set and complete the match sweep.
“These girls want it really bad, it’s just a matter of putting all the puzzle pieces together,” Grover said following the match. “They’re learning a brand new offense and how to execute all of our plays the way we need to. Once we figure it out, we’re dangerous.”
Grover mentioned how the girls are still working and clicking together, especially with the new 6-2 system intact on the court. He added that his players will eventually picked it up and run with it.
“We’re working on it,” Grover said. “We’re running a 6-2 and once they can figure the setters out, it’s going to mesh better.”
Oswego is slated to compete in the annual Dig Pink Tournament at Central Square this Saturday, then Jamesville-DeWitt on Monday.
Grover is hopeful his team will be ready for the powerhouse Lady Rams.
“They’re the hardest opponents that we face,” he said. “We need to go in and need to execute what we know to play volleyball. We have to get down the basics and fundamentals.”