PLEASANTVILLE When Westlake looks back, it might be mad that it gave the social media beef between it and Pleasantville attention.
The smack talk weighed heavy on the teams’ conscience, therefore Wednesday’s rendezvous at Pleasantville left either team bereft of any options. Westlake turned Twitter fingers into tipping fingers in a 25-10, 25-22, 25-12 sweep, overwhelming the Panthers in a battle between the league foes.
“We know they have been saying they could beat us and all this stuff, so we just came in really wanting it,” Wildcats freshman Sydney Roell said. “It’s just like a lot of rivalry stuff.”
Roell was sensational on the floor, registering four aces and seven kills in just two games of work before head coach Carmen Bates opted to rest her. Roell, who suffered a back injury during the preseason, said she’s back to 100 percent.
Westlake was able to run off multiple rallies throughout the match to build its lead up, and from there the Wildcats rarely ever eased up.
Westlake ended the first game on a 12-2 run, quickly erased a 7-0 hole in the second game, then polished off the third game with a 7-2 run. Bates said she gave the team scenarios during practice where they were trailing by a specific score and had to rally back.
“I normally don’t get too disappointed with how they play, as long as they play their game,” Panthers head coach Nancy Neumeister said. “(Wednesday) they weren’t moving, weren’t talking — had some good moments, a block here and there, a couple of (kills) — but we just didn’t play our game today.”
Player of the game: Sydney Roell, Westlake: Pleasantville had a tough time containing the dynamic freshman, who was instrumental whenever she was on the court.
Turning point: Pleasantville opening with a seven-point run in the second game was the Panthers’ best chance to even out the match. When Westlake tied it at 9-9, then won the game to go up two sets, it forced Pleasantville into must-win situation for the final three games.
Stat line: Roell and senior setter Steph Rizzo were a dynamic tandem on Wednesday, whether it was Rizzo setting up Roell for an attack, or both befuddling Pleasantville defenders on the serve. … Lianna Gagliardi paced the Panthers with five kills. Carolyn Meaney added two kills and 11 assists.
Quotable: “We didn’t perform to our ability, that’s for sure. I think they put a lot of pressure on themselves this (match) to win and they crashed,” Neumeister said.