WHERE ARE THEY NOW
August 22, 2013Rossville Middle High School
Rossville tops Frankfort in five sets
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:00 am
ROSSVILLE – Tuesday night’s volleyball season opener between Rossville and Frankfort was as intense as anyone could ask, with both student sections screaming at full volume as both teams navigated through an emotional fifth game.
But it would be the host Hornets that powered through in the end courtesy of junior Mattie McGill. The outside hitter played the starring role with Rossville nursing a 10-8 lead, as McGill tallied three kills and a block in the final five points to lift the Hornets to a 3-2 (25-14, 25-14, 21-25, 21-25, 15-8) victory.
It’s the third consecutive year Rossville has beaten Frankfort, and the Hornets did it this year without all-everything player Brinsley Cooper, who graduated.
“We want to continue to beat them,” McGill said. “We realize we have big shoes to fill and I feel like in my club season, I worked really hard because I knew I had to step up. It’s an awesome feeling to know that I did.’
McGill finished the match with a co-team-high 15 kills, and added a team-best 17 digs to go along with two aces.
“She was on fire,” said Rossville head coach Jenny Knapp. “I always say Mattie’s an animal when she’s in there. When she’s on fire, you just got to keep feeding her. (Tuesday) she played very strong for us.”
Things weren’t always rosy for Rossville (1-0). The Hornets won the first two games and appeared to be on their way to a three-set sweep. But Frankfort (0-1) didn’t lie down, and the Hot Dogs won sets three and four to force a fifth game.
Rossville was the benefactor of a net violation and an illegal hit early in the final set, to go along with a kill and block from Keely Criswell and a Samantha Brenneman block, to take a 9-4 lead. But Frankfort came back with a Mady Corrie kill and a Tania Olivas ace to cut Rossville’s lead to 10-8.
But McGill took over from there. She tallied a kill for an 11-8 lead, teamed up with Brenneman for a block and a 12-10 lead and earned another kill for a 13-10 advantage. Following a Frankfort attack error, McGill put down one final kill for the 15-10 victory.
“We really just needed to rest and start over, and just forgot the losses and pretend like we never lost and start fresh,” McGill said. “It helps us when we come together as a team and cheer each other up.”
Junior classmate Emily Martin also did more than plenty for the Hornets, finishing with 15 kills, two aces, two blocks and six digs.
Frankfort head coach Kia Rushton believes the match was lost late in the fourth set. The Hot Dogs were rolling 24-15 and had all the momentum in the world heading into a potential fifth set following back-to-back kills by Corrie and Olivas. But Rossville rallied, ripping off six straight points thanks to the serving of sophomore setter Brittyn Oliver to cut the score to 24-21 before a Corrie kill closed it out.
“We let them gain a lot of momentum,” Rushton said. “She went back there and did a great job to rally her team up. That changed the whole climate of game five.
“We started worrying about our errors, trying to play perfect and we were timid.”
Corrie finished with 11 kills to lead Frankfort, and also added three aces.
Most of the credit for helping lead Frankfort back belonged to sophomore Tania Olivas, who finished with seven kills and eight aces. In the third set, she served the final six points, tallying four aces. And in the fourth set, Olivas tallied a kill and served five straight points to help the Hot Dogs gain an 11-9 lead. Back-to-back aces by Taylor Kirby, along with a pair of kills from Corrie, helped Frankfort take a 24-15 lead.
“There were a lot of great things that happened in games three and four that they have to be proud of. For so many freshmen playing on the court, we really rallied back,” Rushton said.
If Rossville’s had a bugaboo throughout the past few seasons, it’s closing out games. The Hornets’ ability to finish out the fifth set was a step forward, Knapp said.
“It means a lot. It’s a huge stepping stone for us,” she said. “Our nerves got the best of us and I expected that. I’m very pleased to see us come back in the fifth and seal the deal.
“There’s been years and years where Rossville hasn’t beat Frankfort. Beating them three years in a row is huge for us. It really helps us mentally with getting over that first game and going into the second. Sometimes those second games can be a letdown. But beating Frankfort three years in a row is a boost.”
For Rossville, freshman Keely Criswell had a strong debut with seven aces, eight blocks and five kills. Junior Samantha Brenneman had three blocks, Oliver had 32 assists, five blocks and five digs, and Jenny Erdman had eight digs.
For Frankfort, Ericka Ham had seven kills and 15 assists, Paris Walker five kills, Carson Hackerd 12 assists and Kirby 18 digs and three aces.
Rossville junior Mattie McGill had 15 kills and 17 digs to help the Hornets outlast Frankfort, 3-2, on Tuesday evening.