HAGERSTOWN — Heritage Academy’s volleyball team took 10 months off and never missed a beat.
At least that’s what it seemed like while watching the Eagles dispatch Grace Academy 25-12, 25-9, 25-12 on Friday evening in both teams’ season and Mason Dixon Christian Conference opener.
Heritage went 19-0 last year, winning MDCC regular-season and tournament titles before claiming the Maryland Christian School Tournament championship. The Eagles return all six starters, including last year’s MDCC player of the year — junior middle hitter Kara Stamper.
“It just feels like we still have it all together from last year,” said Stamper, who led Heritage with 15 kills and 13 aces Friday. “We just work really well together. We move together really well.”
Callie Butts stood out in her role as the Eagles’ setter, finishing with 16 assists. She also had six kills, keeping Grace off balance with her second-touch tips and pushes to the deep corners.
“At first, I was really nervous,” Butts said, “but once we got playing I was excited. I don’t want this to end, since it’s my senior year.”
“They played really well,” Heritage coach Young-Sook Anderson said. “Callie did amazing today, and she has fantastic court leadership. ... We want to stay on (top of) the mountain.”
Heritage finished with 32 kills and 20 aces, while Grace managed just 10 kills and three aces. The young Knights — who lost four starters to graduation — had trouble on serve receive.
“My (athletic director) thought we’d start our season with a bang,” Knights coach Heather Slough said, joking. “I think just getting our first game out of the way helped me see where to play girls in certain positions and know what to work on now for the rest of the season.”
Rachel Clarke had five kills and Kathleen Kidd added four kills for Heritage. Jessica Gaylor had two kills and two aces.
Caitlin Cox, Heather Groves, Meredith Craig and Allie Cox each had two kills, and Caitlin Cox added five assists for Grace.