MUNSTER | They call her Shannon the Cannon.
On a night when supporting players from both teams started tiptoeing around each other, the mid-court line and the out-of-bounds lines to find their place, Munster’s Shannon “The Cannon” Farrell was an automatic slew of points each time she stepped behind the service line and dominated at the net when the rotation brought her there.
The senior outside hitter had 21 service points, six kills and nine aces as the Times No. 3 Mustangs opened their season with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 win over No. 4 Crown Point Wednesday night at the Munster Fieldhouse.
“We’ve been practicing aggressive serves a lot, and I was trying to go between their two weakest passers so that if it went either way it didn’t really matter,” Farrell said. “I was making perfect contact, and they were all floating where I wanted them.”
Farrell ran off points 16-20 in the first game, closed out the final five points of the second and put distance between the Mustangs (1-0) and Bulldogs (1-1) late in the third game with points 19-22.
Crown Point beat Munster last August in nonconference play.
“It was definitely a fight, but I was happy with how we executed the offense,” Munster coach Tracy Summers said. “We’ve been working on getting better at communicating and providing energy, and tonight was a big step in that direction.”
It didn't get much better than the combination of Farrell and senior middle hitter Elizabeth Kloos.
“They’re solid rocks,” Summers said. “I can count on them to stay mentally strong at all times.”
Kloos took over from both ends of the net to erase a 7-4 Crown Point lead in the second game. She finished with a team-high 14 kills. Victoria Foster and Morgan Switalla kept the offense balanced when Kloos wasn’t on spiking frenzies.
Crown Point made Munster work for every point, and the Bulldogs rallied around star setter Alyssa Kvarta (five kills, five aces, four blocks, 10 digs, 18 assists), only to see momentary leads vanish.
Meagan Fajman had seven kills to lead the Bulldogs in hitting.
“We battled, battled and battled; they’d get a point, we’d get a point, then we’d give them four or five in a row,” Crown Point coach Alison Duncan said. “A lot of it was basic footwork errors, and that’s something we can fix.
“But against good teams like Munster, that’s going to cause you to lose some points.”