May 4—While the setting and circumstances are vastly different, the results are proving to be the same for the Liberty volleyball team this spring.
The Patriots never trailed en route to a 25-4, 25-11, 25-12 win over Bakersfield on Monday, their 12th consecutive win over the Drillers.
Liberty seized control of the first set immediately, scoring the matches first five points behind the serve of Brynna Slayton, who recorded two aces and an assist in that stretch.
Liberty's serve proved too much for the Drillers to handle in an opening set where the Patriots recorded nine aces.
"You've got to be able to win the serve and pass game," said Patriot coach Amy Parker, whose team hasn't dropped a set during its 3-0 start. "We serve the ball super aggressively (and) we can take teams out of system and they're not able to run their offense."
Slayton was the star of set two as well, as she was responsible for five of nine points during a decisive Patriot rally.
After the Drillers got within 9-7 on a kill by Campbell Snelling, Slayton recorded back-to-back kills of her own, before punctuating the scoring surge with three consecutive aces.
"It was definitely about staying focused and knowing that I was (catching fire) for my team, getting back in that rhythm after they got on a little bit of a run," said Slayton, who sat out the third set.
Even without her, the Patriots were able to stay on course, as Carisa Barron opened the third set with aces on three of her first four serves.
Though the season will end in just over a month without a postseason, things are still playing out to Parker's satisfaction, as she is getting the performance she expected out of her veteran team.
"I think we were at a point in March where we just weren't going to get to have a season," she said. "I have eight seniors ... so for me, I was so excited. We only get to play five weeks, you're going to play back-to-back matches, you're going to have COVID test once a week. None of that matters because the kids get to have some sort of senior season. We're just excited to be on the court."
The two teams will play again at Liberty on Tuesday.