BY JAKE LOURIM
BIRMINGHAM — Olivia Parks rebounded from a one-game slump in a big way, hammering kill after kill.
The result was a sweep for her Troy volleyball team. The victim was Birmingham Groves.
Parks, a sophomore, had 14 kills to lead the Colts to a 25-16, 25-19, 25-12 OAA White Division win Thursday over the host Falcons.
Troy coach Ed Ruhl said Parks’ troubles Tuesday against West Bloomfield were the result of playing all-around.
“She puts so much pressure on herself for perfect passing and puts so much pressure on her shoulder serving,” he said. “Now, she (needed) to just focus on one specific thing and that was bombing the ball.”
And bomb she did.
“If I warm up well, I hit well in games,” Parks said, adding that if she can get one good kill in early, she’ll gather momentum.
What might terrify the rest of the opponents in the league is that the sophomore’s shoulder is still ailing.
“It hurts every now and then,” Parks said. “Sometimes it feels like it’s tearing.”
The sophomore put down five kills with only one error in the first game, helping Troy pound the Groves back line in the first set. The Colts added five aces and only allowed the host Falcons three kills.
Troy’s offense was on fire again in the second game, with Parks and junior Marcela Sanabria, a transfer from Mexico, each adding five kills. The Colts had 15 kills total in a 25-19 win, taking seven of the final eight points after the game was tied at 18.
With Groves all but defeated, the Colts finished their fourth straight win with a blowout,
surging to early leads of 7-0 and 14-2. Two Lindsay Moeller aces, two blocks, two Groves hitting error, and another kill comprised the early seven-point streak.
Parks finished with 14 kills to the Falcons’ 12 total as the Troy back line was just as good at covering blocks and digging up hits.
However, the biggest difference in the game from last year’s performance might have been the little things. The Colts didn’t give up silly points on block coverage or tips or countless hitting errors. They were solid all-around and never allowed Groves the chance to settle in.
Ruhl said that a big difference is the new 5-1 formation with junior setter Lindsay Moeller.
“She’s still making some errors, but she’s setting eight out of ten where she wants them,” he said. “That’s a difference from last year because each setter would spray them all over the place last year.
“I think it took a year for them to get used to how I wanted them to play, and now they’re