Glessner, Adams celebrate birthdays in style
Pair sparks Skipjacks past Cecil College as team nets 11th victory
WYE MILLS The birthday girls gave their team a present Thursday night, sparking Chesapeake College to a four-set women’s volleyball victory over visiting Cecil College.
Sophomore Jordan Glessner turned 19 Thursday and freshman teammate O’Sha Adams celebrated her 18th birthday. One or the other seemed to be involved in most of the crucial plays as the Skipjacks (11-7) ground out a 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, and 25-23 victory.
"It’s nice when you can help the team by picking up the other people with your play," said Glessner, who served two aces in a match-ending, 7-1 run to finish out the fourth set.
"It was a sloppy match, but we won," said Adams, who had two aces and two kills during a 19-8 spurt in the third set that turned the match around. "In the beginning, we weren’t moving our feet or standing up on defense, but we played better as the match went on."
"They did play well," Skipjacks head coach Jay Covey said of the birthday girls. "Jordan’s been playing extremely well defensively and O’Sha is going to be a big-game hitter. She’s coming on."
Glessner and Adams weren’t the only players to step up for the Skipjacks, who won for the eighth time in their last 10 matches.
Sara Bailey and Verushka Perez had nice service runs in the first set, each serving four points during 5-0 runs as the Skipjacks pulled away from a 6-6 tie. Kyra Ringgold then took over, getting kills on the final four points of the opening set.
Chesapeake appeared in control of the match while building a 9-6 lead in the second set, but Cecil put together a stunning, 14-1 run centered around the hitting of Cheyne Richardson and the serving of Rebecca Stoffer to even the match at one set apiece.
"We had way too many service errors," said Covey after three different Skipjacks misfired on second-set serves. "When we start to get something going, we turn right around and have a service error. They’ve got to learn to stay focused, especially when we are starting to rally."
Cecil blew out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, but then it was the Skipjacks’ turn to put together an impressive comeback. Glessner had three kills in a 10-point sequence, including a hit that put the Skipjacks ahead to stay at 12-11. Adams, Ringgold and Perez also had key kills as the Skipjacks opened up a 21-15 lead on the way to the third-set win.
The Seahawks seemed poised to send the match to a fifth set, using a 7-1 run to build a 22-18 cushion in the fourth set. Then a bit of miscommunication a ball dropped right between Seahawks Brianna Engelberth and Ashley Martin to end Cecil’s run provided the Skipjacks with the break they needed.
That sideout sent Glessner to the service line, and she responded with aces on two of the next three points, the second one creating a 22-22 tie. Cecil took a 23-22 lead on an Ashley Ratasiewicz kill, but Richardson then sent a hit just long for a 23-23 tie.
Adams and Perez combined on a point-scoring block off a Ratasiewicz kill attempt, giving the Skipjacks a 24-23 lead, and Cecil’s Blair Hallock was called for two hits to end the match.
The win continued Chesapeake’s feel-good season, coming on the heels of last year’s 3-8 regular-season campaign in the school’s first volleyball season since the mid-1990s.
"We’re clicking more this year," said Glessner. "We’re realizing what we’ve got here."
"I’m very pleased. We’re definitely a lot better," said Covey, comparing this year’s team to last year’ squad. "We don’t have the turmoil on the floor between the players this year that we had last year they’re all getting along really well."
Notes: Chesapeake is off until Friday, when the Skipjacks host the College of Southern Maryland in their 6 p.m. regular-season finale. Both teams will be wearing pink as part of the conference’s "Dig Pink" event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer survivors are asked to wear pink and will be admitted free of charge.
The Hawks (24-11) are ranked 20th in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II poll, but Chesapeake took CSM to four tough games earlier this month in La Plata. Southern Maryland lost in three straight games in last week’s showdown against Hagerstown Community College, both of whom were undefeated in the league entering the match.
After playing CSM, the Skipjacks will participate in the NJCAA Division II Region XX championship tournament November 1-2 at Hagerstown Community College. . . .
Three Skipjacks hold prominent places among this week’s Maryland JuCo leaders. Ringgold is third in kills per set (3.21) while Lexie Holder is third in aces per set (0.84) and Glessner is sixth in digs per set (2.43).
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