TUNKHANNOCK – For Holy Redeemer’s Monica Wignot, Thursday was just another day at the office.
The 6-foot-2 middle hitter blasted 24 kills and had three blocks to lead the Royals to an eye-catching 3-0 victory over Tunkhannock in Wyoming Valley Conference girls volleyball.
The scores were 25-13, 25-13, 25-13.
But anyone who has the perception that Redeemer is a one-player would be mistaken. The Royals appear to be a team without a weakness.
Just ask Tunkhannock.
Senior outside hitter Kristen Bell also turned in an amazing performance, posting seven kills, two blocks, five digs and four service points. Setter Mary Loughran consistently hit Wignot and Bell with perfect passes, enabling both hitters to do as they pleased. Loughran wound up with 25 assists and four service points.
Meanwhile, Redeemer’s defense was equally as impressive. With Maura McCormick, Carly Zak and Julia Wignot leading the way, the Royals did an outstanding job keeping the ball off the floor and virtually rendered the Tigers’ offensive attack helpless.
“I’m really happy with the way we played,” Redeemer coach Jack Kablick said. “We played very solid. Tunkhannock is an up and coming team, and we took a lot of things away from them on defense.”
It would be easy to take two-time all-stater Wignot for granted, but no one is more appreciative of her skills than Kablick.
“She runs our offense and her location is amazing,” said Kablick. “She was absolutely awesome today. She battled hard, and she received some beautiful sets from Loughran. Monica’s the most complete player I’ve ever seen.”
According to Wignot, the Royals (5-0) played a near perfect match.
“Our defense was good. We picked up each other throughout the match. We tipped well and played together.”
Bell is one of the most underrated players in the WVC because she’s overshadowed by Wignot. The 5-10 senior made a spectacular play Thursday that was worthy of a highlight reel.
She dug a Tunkhannock shot just inches off the floor that appeared to be a sure kill for the Tigers, and wound up making a kill for the Royals that gave Redeemer a 17-11 lead in game two. Bell then followed with a pair of slams.
“I saw the ball about to hit the floor and I was able to get to it,” Bell said. “I wasn’t sure I could make the play, but somehow I did. I think we played great defense all day.”
Tunkhannock (3-1) is regarded as a promising young team, but the Tigers were totally overmatched against Redeemer. They were at the Royals’ mercy any time Wignot and Bell touched the ball.
“We really weren’t ready to play,” said Tunkhannock coach Mick Goodwin. “Redeemer didn’t do anything surprising, but we couldn’t stop them. They set two girls the whole match and we had no answer.”
Sara Petokas paced Tunkhannock with four blocks, while Artonya Gordon had 10 assists and three service points.