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Net girls bounce back nicely from first loss

SYDNEY ROBERTSON goes up for a kill against Farmington on Monday, Sept. 13. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
September 20, 2010
ALTON — While the Prospect Mountain volleyball team suffered its first loss last week, the girls also picked up two more wins over local rivals and moved to 4-1 on the season.

The Timber Wolves' home win over Winnisquam on Friday, Sept. 17, was much like the team's loss to Farmington five days earlier, as the match went back and forth the entire way and wasn't decided until the very end. However, in the end, the Timber Wolves took a 3-2 win and handed the Bears their first loss of the season.

Winnisquam jumped out to an 18-9 lead in the first game, but rallied to record a 25-22 win. The visitors came back in game two and won 25-11 and then won game three by a 25-19 score.

However, Prospect rallied again in game four and came away with a 25-22 win and then pulled out a 16-14 win in the fifth and deciding game.

Prospect's middle game of the week was a bit easier, as the girls traveled to Meredith and dispatched Inter-Lakes by a 3-0 score. However, the Lakers did give the Timber Wolves a bit of a battle in those three games.

Prospect won the first game 25-17, but had to fight through the second game for a 27-25 win. The Timber Wolves picked up a 25-22 win in the third game to take home the sweep.

Sydney Robertson led the way for the Prospect girls, as she recorded nine blocks in five kills to pace the victory. Stephanie Burke had four kills, three aces, seven digs and a block, Emily Barrett had five kills and two aces, Xyelle Lewis recorded four kills and Jessica Bibbo had 19 assists.

The Timber Wolves opened the week with the first home game of the season, a battle with defending champion Farmington on Monday, Sept. 13.

From the get-go, the two teams stepped toe-to-toe, but early on the advantage went to the Timber Wolves.

Behind strong play at the net from Robertson and Burke, the Timber Wolves held strong with the Tigers in the early part of the first game. A solid tip from Bibbo and a couple big plays from Robertson gave the Timber Wolves a 10-9 lead. Farmington pulled ahead again, but a good tip from Barrett and a strong play from Bryana DeCoff pulled Prospect even at 17.

From there, aces from Burke and Barrett as well as strong net play from Robertson, DeCoff, Burke and Barrett allowed the Timber Wolves to pull away and walk off with the 25-20 win.

The Timber Wolves came out quickly in game two as well. Lewis, Barrett and Bibbo all had strong play in the opening points and the Timber Wolves jumped out to an 8-5 lead. Behind Robertson's solid net play, including three blocks, the hosts stretched the lead to 18-10.

Farmington fought back, however, and closed the gap to zero, tying the match at 20. From there, the two teams exchanged points, with Barrett getting a couple big points for the Timber Wolves, but the Tigers prevailed, winning 25-23.

Farmington seemed to have the momentum and game three showed that. Although Prospect leaped out to a 3-0 lead behind a Robertson block and a good play from Chani Davis, the Tigers weren't to be denied. Burke, Barrett and Danielle Beckett did their best to keep the Timber Wolves in it with strong play at the net, but the Tiers were able to come roaring back and raced to a 25-14 win to take a 2-1 advantage.

The fourth game was exactly the opposite, as the Timber Wolves completely dominated from the opening serve. Aces from Robertson and Beckett helped Prospect to a 9-3 lead and an ace from Burke and good net play from Barrett, Robertson and Bibbo pushed the lead to 17-8. Robertson chipped in with an ace and Burke had a couple good plays at the net and the Timber Wolves rolled to a 25-11 win to tie the match at two.

Prospect got out to a quick lead in the fifth game, as a block from Robertson helped push the Timber Wolves to a 5-1 lead, but the Tigers came back and pulled even at 6-6. From there, despite good play from Barrett and an ace from Burke, the visitors were able to pull away and closed out the 15-11 win and the 3-2 win over the Timber Wolves.

"At times we were up and played well, but at others we were flat and not talking," said coach Karen Pearson. "Something we have to work on is talking on the court."

The Timber Wolf coach, who guided her team to wins in her first two matches at the varsity level, attributed the tough loss to a lack of communication.

"I think a lot o fit came down to not talking," she said.

She also noted that the next time the two teams play, she could see the Timber Wolves coming away with a different result if they could harness the good energy they had, particularly in the first and fourth games.

"If they could bring that energy and strong play through the entire match, then I could see us definitely winning against Farmington," Pearson stated. "I'm very happy with my team, it's just a matter of keeping the energy up and keeping it up through the whole match."

The Timber Wolves will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 24, when they host Pittsfield. On Monday, Sept. 27, the girls will host Portsmouth Christian and on Wednesday, Sept. 29, they will get their rematch with Farmington, traveling to play the Tigers. All games begin with JV at 5 p.m. and varsity following at 6 p.m.

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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