The Edison High girls’ volleyball team has begun its season with a couple of marquee tournaments.
These tournaments serve multiple purposes. They let the teams know where they stand, but they also allow them to figure out how the pieces might fit together.
On the final day of the Lakewood Molten Classic, the Chargers were short-handed, as seniors Samantha Schofield and Katelyn Sasaki were taking the SAT.
While the Chargers made position changes and emptied out the bench on Saturday, their trust in each other grew deeper with each point won.
Edison took seventh place out of the 32-team field, ending the tournament with a 25-10, 26-24, 25-23 win over Esperanza at Lakewood St. Joseph High.
Chargers coach Matthew Skolnik came away pleased with the play of his reserves.
“Summer Hanks did a great job coming off the bench,” Skolnik said. “She started all day today in the middle, and she had some big blocks for us, some big kills.
“Kylee Anthony came in and served the last few points of the game after sitting for a while, so she showed a lot.”
Skolnik also recognized Kelly McCloskey, the lone freshman on the roster, for filling in at outside hitter.
The last two sets were tightly-contested. The stage called for the Chargers’ veterans to step up, and they did. Junior Nikki Logan placed one of her match-high 17 kills on the back line to erase a set point in Game 2.
“Once you see them call it in, you’re like, ‘Oh, thank God,’ ” Logan said. “I wasn’t sure about that one, but it ended up working out, which was good.”
The St. Joseph gymnasium was plenty big enough to host one volleyball match, but playing two side-by-side left little margin for error. The sidelines were within a couple of feet of the wall on one side, and there wasn’t much more room before the benches on the other.
When the Chargers (9-4) earned a set point in Game 3, senior Maggie Gunther turned volleyball into a contact sport. She threw her body into the wall on her right, rising up and finding a vacated spot in the middle for the match-ending kill.
“We were really close,” Gunther said. “We could have gone to another game, so I knew that I had to finish it right then and there. I was just going to throw my body out there and try to end it.”
Aly Fullbright had 25 assists and Emily Sparks added 22 assists for Edison. Taylor Torchia also had 13 kills.
Esperanza was led by Deidra Schriever with 13 kills. Sadie Pool and Taylor Jones each had eight kills.