WHERE ARE THEY NOW
August 27, 2013Rossville Middle High School
Hornet rally falls short against Lebanon
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 4:00 am
LEBANON – The Lebanon and Rossville volleyball teams staged an entertaining five-set match Monday night at Rosenstihl Gymnasium.
After Lebanon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match, Rossville won the next two to force a deciding fifth set. In the end, Lebanon gutted out the fifth set 15-13 and won the match 3-2 (25-23, 25-20, 17-25, 10-25, 15-13).
“I am very proud of the girls,” said Lebanon head coach Steve Hawthorne. “I know the third and fourth sets were a real mental challenge for them. So for them to lead most of the fifth set, then to fall behind a little right at the end and come back – it was a true testament to what these kids can do.”
Rossville head coach Jenny Knapp had similar sentiments about the way her girls battled through the five sets.
She said she thought her team took a while to get adjusted to the pace of play.
“I am very proud of the last three games we played (Monday),” Knapp said. “We were coming off playing a slow game our match before and we started off that way again. We kept it together and played well the last three.”
From the get-go it had the makings of a close match.
Neither team led by more than four points in the first set and there were seven ties. With the set tied 20-20, Lebanon scored three straight points to take a 23-20 lead on an ace by Cheyenne Marshall.
Rossville (2-1) got within 23-22, but Lebanon closed out the set.
Lebanon led 12-11 in the second set before the Tigers used a four-point spurt to gain control of the set. Rossville got within two points twice, but could never tie the set.
“I think at the beginning we played relaxed and with confidence,” Hawthorne said. “I think where we got in trouble is where we kind of let up and let them back into the match, then didn't know how to respond.”
The two teams were battling back-and-forth in set three, with neither team leading by more than two points until the set was tied at 16 – the 12th tie of the set. But then Rossville grabbed control of the set, scoring nine of the final 10 points to make it 2-1 in favor of the Tigers.
Rossville carried that momentum into the fourth set, jumping out to a 10-2 lead. Lebanon cut the deficit to 10-6, but the Hornets led by as many as 16 in closing out the set.
“"I think they realized they weren't reaching their full potential,” Knapp said. “They knew they could do better. We talked about it in the huddle and they all went out there and worked hard. Once we started getting a couple of kills they started performing better.”
Lebanon grabbed momentum early in set five, taking a 5-1 lead. The Tigers held that lead most of the early going, leading 9-6. But the Hornets had one more run in them. Three aces from Brittyn Oliver and a kill by Mattie McGill gave Rossville the 10-9 lead.
Lebanon tied the set at 10 on a kill by Hayley Linton and the two teams remained tied at 12 and 13.
The Tigers took a 14-13 lead on a kill by Sarah Spolyar, and won the match when Rossville's Keely Criswell's kill attempt went into the net.
“Mental toughness,” said Hawthorne, when asked about the difference in the fifth set for his team. “I told them the team that is stronger mentally and plays with a little more heart, is probably going to win.”
Said Knapp: “Mentally we have to be more prepared. We have to be ready to play those difficult teams.”
Rossville’s Samantha Brenneman goes for the kill attempt during the Hornets’ match against Lebanon on Monday night.
Rossville’s Brittyn Oliver sets up one of her teammates during Monday’s match against Lebanon.