As it turned out, he had nothing to worry about, except for how to celebrate.
The visiting Cardinals quickly overcame a slow start by romping over Wellington in three games to clinch the school’s first conference championship in volleyball.
The scores of 25-15, 25-11 and 25-10 gave Brookside its 17th win in 20 matches, while the Cards improved to 15-0 to secure the title in the Patriot Athletic Conference.
“We don’t take anyone for granted,” Whitsel said. “But I think we weren’t comfortable at first with the thoughts of tonight being the chance to win the first volleyball conference title in school history. But we settled down quickly. This conference win was a long time coming. The key to us winning was the girls playing together as a team. We played unselfish all year.
“I had a good feeling going into the season. First of all, we had a number of girls who have played together for three years, so we had a lot of experience. Then, during summer tournaments, we played well, winning a big tourney in Tiffin.”
Wellington (3-18, 2-13) had a few spurts but couldn’t match the powerful Cardinals.
After the 2-0 start the Dukes scored five straight points later on in the opening game before Brookside put it away with a kill from Gabby Woods.
In the second game, the Cards led most of the way, once putting together a seven-point streak behind the serving of Jeanine Musall, who was a major factor the whole match. The senior led the winners in hitting (20-of-21) with 13 kills, four blocks and 11 service points (two aces).
“It feels really good,” Musall said of winning the conference championship. “It is the first title team I’ve ever been on. We won the title because we had really good teamwork and played smart all year with good decisions.”
Junior Shelby Kerstetter also played well.
“It’s good to know I was a part of this team,” she said. “Today’s win was a team effort. Everyone contributed, as we did all season. I’m looking forward to the tournament and hoping for the best.”
Kady Whitsel led Brookside in setting with 31-of-31 passing and 15 assists. She also led the team in digs with 13. Kayla Pyles had 10 digs.
Veteran Wellington coach Marsha Coultrip, in her 33rd year, praised the Cardinals.
“I’ve got to give credit to Brookside and congratulate them for their championship,” she said. “They are a very good team with multiple weapons.”
Jill Jackson and Raven Howard tied for the team lead with three kills for Wellington. Megan Brasee was tops in setting with 30-of-31 passing and five assists. Erin Reisinger had nine digs.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.