MERRILLVILLE | We know March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb.
There’s no analogous saying for September, but once again the Munster volleyball team is roaring out of it and into October with ferocity.
The Mustangs mauled Andrean, with two swift attacks sandwiched around a slow, painful takedown in the second set, sweeping the host 59ers in a pivotal Northwest Crossroads Conference match Thursday night.
A rivalry matchup between the two local 2011 semistate teams was a mostly Munster affair with wins of 25-13, 27-25, 25-18. With a victory in their final September match, the team that began the season 0-3 is now 20-5 with a 9-0 mark in the NCC with three to play and the 59ers sitting at 6-3 in league play.
“When we execute, I think we’re an extremely strong team,” Munster coach Tracy Summers said. “We just have to show that we can do it throughout the match.”
The Mustangs sagged a little in the second game, but with her team down 24-22, Summers called a timeout to discuss the next play and reinvigorate the squad.
“I told them we’re going to get that point and stop playing so tentatively, and we’re going to show them we’re the better team,” Summers said.
That’s what they did as Elizabeth Kloos (6 kills, 6 block kills) came up with a kill to pull Munster within one and then combined with Shannon Farrell (10 kills, 15 digs) on a block at the line to tie it at 24.
Farrell had a kill to give Munster a 26-25 lead, and an error on the other side recaptured the momentum for the match, Munster’s sixth win in a row.
“We’re more together as a team,” said sophomore hitter Toni Dallecarbonare, who had 10 kills and five aces.
“(In game two) we lost a little focus and got ourselves pumped up. We realized we have to win this to keep our win streak going.”
Dallecarbonare was upset with herself over inconsistencies in her play, notably in a five-set win Monday against Wheeler.
“I knew I had to focus, get my act together,” she said. “The rivalry here made us want it even more.”
Andrean (17-6, 6-3) started its strongest rotation but couldn’t overcome Munster’s initial barrage in the first game or rebound from the collapse in the second game as Munster tore through the third.
“Something about them throws us off our game,” Andrean coach Julie Wiejak said. “I think we can perform so much better than that. We are better than that.”