HART — Montague showed off its depth Tuesday night, easily defeating Hart in West Michigan Conference action, 25-12, 25-12, 25-16.
The Wildcats (13-1, 2-0 WMC) got off to quick starts and finished strong in each of the first two games. Game three got off to a slow start as Hart held a brief early lead, but the Wildcats closed the game on a scoring run once again to earn the sweep.
Montague scored seven straight points in game one after Hart opened the match with a point, and the Wildcats jumped ahead 4-0, and later 12-4, in game two.
What stood out was the Wildcats' ability to score from several different rotations and not just one or two. For instance, the team scored with middle hitter Ally Hall in the back row just as effectively as when she was in the front.
"Obviously we have some major hitters, and this year we're really getting them (going)," Montague coach Shawn Bectel said. "We have four or five girls that can really swing this year. Obviously you still have Reilly (Murphy) and you still have Ally, and Raegan (Murphy) is being more offensive this year, which we want...We really have five hitters if we need them. It definitely helps to keep teams on their heels."
Reilly Murphy had her usual excellent night, hitting .417 and delivering 12 kills. Other than that, the offense was spread around. Setter Raegan Murphy was actually second on the team in kills, with five. Hall and Leehah Bentz each had four.
Montague was also very good at the service line, making only five errors while scoring 11 aces. Raegan Murphy had four of those. With all the talent the Wildcats have on the court, not making service errors is a key for the team.
"The biggest thing going into tonight, and it wasn't perfect by any means, but to get us to that next level, we're trying to cut down our own unforced mistakes," Bectel said. "I think the one (match) we lost this year, we gave up 18 errors. You can't spot a team 18 points and expect to win a game."
On defense, Morgan Netcott had 11 digs and Hall had 10, and the team had eight total blocks. Raegan Murphy posted 28 assists.
While the WMC title is certainly a point of emphasis for Bectel's team, the Wildcats have also made a point of assembling some challenging quads in between league matches. One in particular that will get the team's juices flowing is a quad at Lowell on Saturday, Oct. 3, when the Wildcats will face last year's Division 1 runners-up, the Red Arrows, as well as Ann Arbor Skyline, who ended last season ranked in the top 10.
"We've got a shot this year, and right now we're just trying to fine-tune to get to that point," Bectel said. "Every game we hit, we're trying to learn and just keep getting better. We've got the senior leaders and we've got some good pieces all the way around."