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T-Wolves bounce back, beat Farmington


After tough loss to Portsmouth Christian, Prospect girls knock off defending champion Tigers



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KARALEE JANNINI reaches down for a dig against Portsmouth Christian on Monday, Sept. 27. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 04, 2010
ALTON — A week that started out on a disappointing note ended on a good note for the Prospect Mountain volleyball team.

After falling to Portsmouth Christian on Monday, Sept. 27, the Timber Wolves traveled to Farmington on Wednesday, Sept. 29, and knocked off the defending Division III champions.

"I was really glad that we came back after PCA," coach Karen Pearson said of her team's 3-2 win over the Tigers. "It was definitely a close game."

The Timber Wolves came out of the gate and dropped the first game to the Tigers, but then rallied to win the next two. Farmington won game four to set up a deciding game five, where the Timber Wolves came away victorious, avenging a 3-2 loss to the Tigers in Alton on Sept. 13.

"For some reason this year, we're playing better on the road than we are at home," Pearson said. "Home games, I'm a little scared, but we go on the road and we play awesome."

The Timber Wolf coach said she is hopeful that the team's ability to play well on the road pays off in the playoffs, when third and fourth round games are at a neutral site.

"If, hopefully we make it to Plymouth, it will help us that we do play so well on the road," she said.

The Timber Wolves certainly didn't light up the home gym against the Eagles of Portsmouth Christian on Sept. 27, as the visitors walked out of the gym with a 3-1 win in a game the Timber Wolves probably could've won.

"I don't know what was up with them tonight," Pearson said. "We couldn't get them motivated.

"It's just very frustrating," she continued.

For much of the season, the Timber Wolves have come out flat in the first game, but have rallied back with strong finishes.

Against PCA, the slow starts continued, as the visitors quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Sydney Robertson brought them back. The senior had two strong plays at the net and a service ace to tie the game at four. Junior Emily Barrett pulled Prospect to the lead at 5-4, but the Eagles answered with five straight points to take a 9-5 lead.

A nice play at the net from Barrett and an ace from Danielle Beckett made it 9-7, but PCA pushed the lead to 11-7. However, a Stephanie Burke ace and a strong play from Karalee Jannini cut the lead to 13-11.

However, that was as close as the Timber Wolves would get. The Eagles ran of six points in a row to up the lead to 19-11. Robertson, Beckett and Burke teamed up to cut into the lead a bit, but the Eagles slowly pulled ahead and despite a nice tip at the net from Barrett, walked off with a 25-15 win in game one.

The second game was much closer, as the two teams went back and forth the entire match. Robertson and Burke staked the hosts to a 5-1 lead and then a couple strong plays and ace from Robertson helped push the lead to 8-3. Barrett made it 9-3 before the Eagles began a slow comeback. Barrett played well at the net to keep the Timber Wolves in front by a few points, but the visitors finally caught up to tie the game at 15.

From there, the two teams went back and forth, with Robertson getting a big kill for Prospect and Burke picking up a solid point at the net to make it 19-17 in favor of the Timber Wolves. However, the Eagles rallied and pulled ahead 24-19 before good team play and a great tip from Robertson made it 24-21. The Eagles then clinched the game with the 25th point to take a 2-0 lead.

The late-blooming Timber Wolves lived up to that description in the third game, as they basically dominated from start to finish. Good play from Burke and Jannini and an ace from Bryana DeCoff pushed Prospect out to an early lead. PCA cut the lead to 3-2, but that was as close as they would get. Strong play at the net from Robertson and Barrett and a pair of Barrett aces helped stretch the lead to 13-4. A good play from DeCoff and nice teamwork from Jannini and Robertson upped the lead to 15-6. Robertson and Burke both had nice plays at the net and each chipped in with an ace as the Timber Wolves built a 21-11 lead. DeCoff also made a great play off the net for a key point and the Timber Wolves rolled to a 25-16 win and appeared poised to make their traditional comeback.

The Eagles would have none of that, however, as they roared out of the gate with the first 10 points of the fourth game and never looked back. Robertson had an ace and Barrett and Jess Bibbo had good plays at the net to get Prospect some early points, but the lead opened up to 21-8 when Barrett took over on the service line.

The junior then rifled off seven points in a row, including a pair of aces, to cut the lead to 21-15. However, the Eagles were able to get the final points and picked up the 25-16 win.

"I've been telling them there will be times that if we come out and play flat we're not going to be able to come back," Pearson said. "You can only pull off so many of those games."

She noted that the Timber Wolves weren't passing well and from there, things just snowballed.

"We just couldn't get anything going," she said.

The Timber Wolves will not play again until Wednesday, Oct. 13, when they head to Winnisquam for a 6 p.m. game with the Bears.

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