KELCEY MARSAN returns a serve in action against Nute on Sept. 11. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 16, 2013ALTON — After meeting up with two easier opponents to open the season, the Prospect Mountain volleyball came up against a big test on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
And while the Timber Wolves weren't able to come away with a victory against perennial DIII power Nute, they did have some strong moments of volleyball on their home court.
"They have to give credit where credit is due and not get freaked out that a team is beating us," coach Kerry Fitzpatrick said. "They can play with them.
"It's just a matter of being able to finish them off and get that point," the Timber Wolf coach continued. "Nute does that very well."
Out of the gate, things didn't get off to a great start, as the Rams scored the first eight points of the first game before a Rosina Montgomery kill got the Timber Wolves on the board at 8-1. Prospect followed that up with a great volley, but couldn't secure the point and Nute went up 9-1. The Rams increased that lead to 12-3 before a strong combined play from Zoe Wenzel, Ashlee Roy and Jamie Dwyer got the Timber Wolves another solid point.
Prospect was able to cut the lead to 14-8 before the Rams went on a rally and got off five points in a row to open up a 19-8 lead. The Timber Wolves were never able to get closer than 20-10, as the Rams took game one by a 25-11 score.
The second game was another tough one for the hosts, though they did get out to a nice 4-1 lead early, as Katie Sepulveda had a nice tip and Karie Bilodeau had a good kill. However, the Rams rolled off 13 points in a row to turn the Timber Wolf lead into a 14-4 deficit. After Prospect got back on the board, the Rams got another four points in a row and eventually scored a 25-8 victory. Montgomery did contribute a nice kill in the final moments of the game.
The third game was certainly the highlight for the Timber Wolf girls, as they fell behind early, but rallied all the way back to force a tie late in the game.
Wenzel actually got the Timber Wolves a 2-1 lead before the Rams scored six points in a row to take a 7-2 lead. Montgomery was able to cut the lead to 10-4 with a kill and a nice return from Dwyer cut the lead to 11-8. A Bilodeau kill kept Prospect in the game at 14-10 and she then picked up a couple more points to make it 15-12 in favor of the Rams.
A pair of aces from Wenzel helped the Timber Wolves pull even at 16 before the Rams opened up a 20-16 lead. Jordan Pellowe picked a nice spot for a return to pick up a point, cutting the lead to 22-19, but the Rams were able to close out the 25-20 win and take the 3-0 overall victory.
Fitzpatrick noted that her girls needed to realize that they didn't play badly, despite the loss.
"They have to be able to feel successful in that we played with them," she said. "I think they got discouraged when they didn't need to be."
She pointed out that serve receive was the team's biggest issue on the night, as the Timber Wolves were not able to get the ball to their hitters.
"When we did start passing (the third game), we did get it to our middles and our outsides," the Timber Wolf coach noted.
Wenzel finished with two aces, one kill and 11 digs, while Kelcey Marsan and Savanna DeCoff each finished with seven digs. Bilodeau had four kills and Roy had seven assists and was 100 percent from the service line.
"She had the hardest job tonight," Fitzpatrick said of Roy. "She was all over the place."
The Timber Wolves came back strong from their first loss, traveling to Dover to take on Portsmouth Christian on Friday, Sept. 13, and emerging with a 3-1 win.
Prospect will be in action on Monday, Sept. 23, at home against Moultonborough and will be at Farmington on Wednesday, Sept. 25, both set for 6 p.m. varsity starts.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org