Upper Dublin opened up conference play for its season Friday afternoon taking on Souderton, a team that finished just behind in the Suburban One Continental Conference a year ago and figures to be in the mix again this year. Souderton made short work of Upper Dublin as self-inflicted mistakes and effective Souderton offense downed the Cardinals in straight sets 25-19, 25-11 and 25-14.
"This match was the first conference match and you always want to win that first one, but [there's] a lot more games to come [and] this was definitely not our best day, so we look forward to more,' Upper Dublin coach Corey Maitz said.
Contributing largely to the Indians' success was junior hitter Evan Miller. Miller was two things on the court—he was one of the biggest players, and he was the best player as he crushed home 12 kills, had four aces and blocked seven shots.
"We can rely on him, just give him the ball and he can put it down,' Souderton coach Brad Garrett said of the third-year varsity starter. "He had a huge size advantage over their middle, so when we needed a kill we could go to him.'
Seemingly setting up every one of Miller's kills was senior setter Jordan Rawa. Rawa recorded 23 assists on day and had five digs defensively. Benefitting from Rawa's dishes was senior Alex Androkites who chipped in with six kills.
"We have work to do with the ball control, but when the ball is passed well Jordan did a good job distributing it, so we just have to clean up the passing so that Jordan has the option every time,' Garrett said.
While Rawa was giving his mates great opportunities for shots, Upper Dublin struggled to find consistency in its passing and setting leading to offensive shots that reduced it to simply lobbing it back over due to the bad passing combined with the size of Souderton.
"It starts with the pass,' Maitz said. "When we can't pass, we can't generate any offense. I don't expect my guys at the net to hit.'
For Upper Dublin, it's perhaps back to drawing board to get some things corrected, particularly offensively. And for Souderton, a climb back toward the top of the Continental Conference begins.
"We think if we play our game, then we can contend with the top teams in the league and district,' Garrett said.