By Noah Rubin
West Forsyth's dominant stretch continued Tuesday as the Wolverines opened Area 6-7A play with a 3-0 win over South Forsyth.
West beat the War Eagles 25-15, 25-16, 25-11.
“The match went great,” West head coach Jake Dickey said. “We watched a lot of film. We had our gameplan. We came in and the girls executed well. Reece [Rhoads] had a really good game. Our servers, I think we had 15 or 16 aces. We just played great.”
The way they played tonight lined up with how they’ve been playing over the past few weeks. They’ve won 11 of their last 12 matches and are as hot as any team in the region.
“We started out with a really, really hard schedule and trying to find our way as a team,” Dickey said. “The last 15 matches, we’re really starting to click. Perfect timing for right before region.”
One reason for their success is the play of junior Reece Rhoads, who hit .555 Tuesday against South.
“She’s our best hitter,” Dickey said. “And she’s a captain. Her, Lymaris [Vasquez], and Kendall [Gentry] are our three captains. All three of them have really stepped up this year. Kendall’s our libero and a senior. Lyrmaris and Reece are juniors. Both of them are just so solid on the outside.”
Reece collected 16 kills, which gives her a career total of 737 kills, which is good for second in program history.
“She passed Annie Veldhuis, who’s playing at Shorter right now,” Dickey said. “She passed her earlier this month in kills, making her second. She’s closing in on Chloe Lance for one. She’s probably still 180 away. Reece will probably get her. I don’t know if it’ll be this year. It might be this year. She definitely has a chance.”
Rhoads is grateful to be where she is, but she’s not content with second place.
“It’s crazy to me,” Rhoads admitted. “It’s kind of surreal. I didn’t realize it, but it makes me want to be number one. I’m just so competitive. I want to keep working, but it’s really cool.”
Rhoads didn’t always focus on being the top scorer in school history, but as the kills came, so did her desire to claim the top spot.
“From the beginning, Coach Dickey always had high hopes for me,” Rhoads said. “I think last year I knew it was a possibility. I think coming into this year, it was a goal I had in mind. I didn’t think it was so close. Now that I’m at number two, it makes it just feel so much closer.”
Rhoads thrives off the energy that the team provides, which she feels has contributed to the team’s recent success.
“We always play our best when our energy is maxed,” Rhoads said. “You can always tell the difference. I think tonight especially, the energy was really good, and that’s why we were so successful.”
That energy is something West [18-8, 1-0 Area 6-7A] will look to continue Thursday at Central.
South [4-16, 0-2 Area 6-7A] will look to rebound Thursday, as the War Eagles travel to Gainesville.