Harford sweeps tentative Skipjacks
Owls the steadier team as volleyball makes return to Chesapeake
WYE MILLS There was an air of excitement Monday evening as a large, supportive crowd witnessed the return of women’s volleyball to Chesapeake College after a 14-year hiatus. All that was missing was a victory by the home team, which suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of Harford Community College.
Chesapeake head coach Jay Covey said the excitement of the moment seemed to put his team off balance in the 30-17, 30-27, 30-19 loss.
"It was the first time we had people watching us and playing live against another team," said Covey. "My girls were playing not to mess up instead of going out and being aggressive."
Harford led by hitters Lexy Fitzkey, Erica Bizzell, and Brittney Rohrs was much more assertive offensively. The Owls (1-1) also exhibited better floor coverage than Chesapeake, thanks in large part to Logan Pierpont’s leadership.
"Logan is probably one of the best defensive back-line players I’ve seen in a long time," said Harford head coach Jason Colangelo. "She’s a complete workhorse out there."
Harford was also more consistent from the service line, committing only 11 service errors to 16 for the Skipjacks. Covey said the Skipjacks made it tough on themselves by missing so many serves, particularly in Game 2 when they committed six errors from the service line.
"We spend hours on serving. That gives you an idea how nervous we were tonight," said Covey. "If we would have just made our serves alone we’d have won the second game. The importance of the serve increases with rally scoring every time you miss a serve, you give away a point."
Harford took command in Game 1 by using a 9-1 run to break away an 8-8 tie. The run was built on a variety of Skipjack errors as the steadier Owls simply kept the ball in play.
Chesapeake was much more competitive in Game 2, which featured the Skipjacks’ best run of the evening. Trailing 14-12, Verushka Perez stuffed a Harford shot to get the serve back for the Skipjacks, then delivered four straight unreturned serves to give Chesapeake a 17-14 lead.
Harford, however, took the lead for good with a 6-2 surge as the Owls built a 23-19 advantage. Chesapeake twice got within a point, the last time at 24-23 on a Perez dink, but a Fitzkey spike started a 5-0 run by the Owls.
Chesapeake pulled within 29-27 with four straight points, the last two on Jordan Glessner hits, but Fitzkey ended the game with a spike.
Harford blew out to a 5-1 cushion in Game 3 and led the entire way to close out the match.
Jermara Trott at outside hitter and Kyra Ringgold at middle hitter exhibited flashes of brilliance, while Chelsea Cohee showed signs of why Covey is converting her into the team’s setter. What Covey wants to see from the whole team is more consistency.
"Some parts of the lineup, balls weren’t hitting the floor," said Covey. "I’m going to have to look at the tapes and look at the stats and see where I have to make some adjustments."
Colangelo, the Owls coach, was impressed with both the size and volleyball knowledge of the crowd at Monday night’s match.
"I was very happy with the turnout," said Colangelo. "They were great fans very respectful and cheered at the right times. You go some places and you have fans cheering right in the middle of rallies."
Colangelo also praised the Skipjacks.
"They’re going to be a good team," said Colangelo. "They just need to play a couple more games so they can start to jell."
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