Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WAVERLY — It didn’t take long for Kristin Phillips to make her mark on Wednesday’s match … then again, it’s never taken long for Phillips to make her presence known in any match she’s ever played in.
In a Division III district semifinal against Minford, the 6-foot-1 junior not only made a difference, but she also accomplished a feat that she’s been aiming for since she entered high school.
Early in the second set of a 25-15, 25-8, 25-16 win over the Falcons, Phillips logged her 1,000th career kill … and there’s certainly many more to come.
“It feels awesome. It’s great to go out there and be successful, and get 1,000,” Phillips said. “It doesn’t happen a lot and it feels great to be able to do it.”
Per usual, Phillips also credited her teammates, past and present, for a slice of her own success.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team. My setters, Josie [Williams], and Claire Latham, and Darby Beavers my freshman year,” Phillips said. “I couldn’t have done it without my back row players … Lauren Daniels, Kayla Fleischmann are great in the back row. I really couldn’t have done it without my entire team. A lot of the credit goes to them, too.”
As for the match, a win for the top-seeded Mustangs (20-3) was never really in doubt.
The Falcons (12-12) took a 7-2 lead in the first set, forcing Westfall to call a TO. But out of the break, Phillips and Marissa Mullins led the team on a 5-0 run. From that point, the Mustangs never trailed as the duo continued to cause havoc at the net, setting the pace in a 25-15 win.
In the second, After Phillips gave Westfall a 2-1 lead with her 1,000th kill, the Mustangs built a 15-3 lead and cruised to a 25-8 win. Westfall’s lead was 4-1, 11-5 and 13-10 in the third before it finished the set, and the match, on a 12-6 scoring run.
Phillips led the way statistically with 14 kills, nine digs and four aces, Williams had 21 assists and 11 kills, Latham added 13 assists and 14 digs, Mullins had nine kills, three solo blocks and four digs, and Daniels finished with 13 digs.
The Mustangs now advance to a Division III district final against Huntington at 5 p.m., Saturday at Waverly. Westfall has won both matchups with the Huntsmen this season but it hasn’t been easy.
On Sept. 10, Westfall won at Huntington in five sets before beating the Huntsmen in four sets in Williamsport on Oct. 3.
“We always talk in practice about having good energy. Sometimes that energy, on one side of the court, just drains the other side. Volleyball is about staying up and adjusting everything,” Phillips said. “I thought we did that and we just went out there and had a lot of energy. When we play like that, we play one-hundred times better.”