STK - Volleyballs 02

Volleyballs at Salem Hills High School are pictured Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 in Salem. ISAAC HALE, Daily Herald

Maeser Prep improved its record to 1-1 in prep volleyball by going on the road to sweep American Heritage, 3-0, on Tuesday night.

The Lions made it look easy generally, winning 25-14, 25-9 and 25-23.

Led by the hitting of Olivia Harrington, the blocking of McKenna Smeltzer and the overall floor play of Emma Helquist, Maeser Prep was too much for the upstart Patriots just in their first season of competition. American Heritage has had two previous matches on the season and dropped to 0-3 with the defeat.

The Lions cruised in the first two sets never trailing as the Patriots were never in system and Harrington was explosive at the net. In the second game, libero Jenna Norris did damage from the service with two aces and five straight points served.

But American Heritage came to life in the third set building a 6-2 lead. The serves of Izzi Stratton were key in the Patriot surge. Stratton was also the top hitter in the front row for the Patriots. Rebecca Stratton and Ellie Sessions also contributed to American Heritage’s success. But Maeser prep found its groove and surged back to take the lead to 11-10 and then moved ahead 20-16 before a Patriot timeout.

American Heritage made one last run in the third game with a 6-2 run of their own to tie the game before Maeser Prep settled in to outscore the Patriots 3-1 down the stretch to close out the match.

Maeser Prep head coach Mas Watabe felt the Lion effort was much more consistent than its first match with Tabiona that resulted in a 3-0 loss.

“We executed a little bit better than our first game (with Tabiona), especially our starters. Overall, we’re a bit better team than the other team and that showed up tonight.

Watabe also had high praises for Harrington.

“She’s our go-to player for sure,” stated Watabe. “She executed and hit really well.”

Watabe was also happy about the efforts of Smeltzer and Helquist.

“Smeltzer is a good very good blocker and played well and Helquist is a team captain and great leader and had a very good game as well.”

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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