Forest girls dominate Vanguard to remain undefeated

Entering Thursday night’s match between perennial powerhouses Forest and Vanguard, Forest set out to cement its status as the beast of Marion County while Vanguard aimed to bring the Wildcats back to earth and prove that they deserve to be in the discussion about elite teams this season.

It didn’t take long for Forest (8-0) to show that it is, indeed, the class of the region as the Wildcats cruised to a convincing win on Vanguard’s home court (25-22, 25-15, 25-9).

The young Vanguard squad (6-2) started off strong in the first set and it appeared they would put Forest to the test. Behind a dominating performance from sophomore Emma Ehmann on the outside, Vanguard narrowly lost the first set 25-22.

Vanguard’s Emma Ehmann (9) spikes the ball as Forest’s Mackenzie Williams (14) and Sheridan Turner (8) attempt the block Thursday. Forest won the match 3 sets to 0. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.
“We haven’t really been challenged this season and haven’t been able to show ourselves what we are made of,” Forest Coach Jimmy Collins said. “We appreciated Vanguard’s ability and pushing us in the first set.”

Entering the second set, it soon became apparent that the Wildcats’ consistency would make the difference. While both teams are young, Collins’ team showed better composure, and in turn Vanguard began to struggle with its accuracy.

Forest’s junior outside hitters Emma Truluck and Emma Santi, backed by setter Sheridan Turner, began to come alive and led Forest to a dominating 25-15 second-set win.

Up 2-0, Forest started the third set with heightened intensity, and began to experiment with their quick game, which paid off.  In turn, the Knights struggled with serve receive and their communication unraveled as Forest stormed to a 25-9 victory and the match win.

“We played a tough first set and I was happy with our performance. However, we are a young team and need to work on our end game,” Vanguard Coach Luis Perez said.

Team Leaders:

  • Vanguard
    • Emma Ehmann (sophomore – No. 9): 14 kills; 17 digs; 1 solo block
    • Ruby Owen (sophomore – No. 34): 5 kills
    • Sophie Reed (Sophomore – No. 28): 20 assists; 2 aces; 10 digs
    • Taryn Reardon (Freshman – No. 3): 10 service points; 1 ace; 9 digs
  • Forest:
    • Emma Truluck (Junior – No. 5): 15 kills; 12 service points; 14 digs
    • Emma Santi (Junior – No. 13): 8 kills; 12 digs
    • Maddie Jerald (Junior – No. 3): 10 service points; 16 digs
    • Sheridan Turner (Junior- No. 8): 29 assists
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