’Jacks use final rally to win Glessner’s coaching debut
Acree delivers kills on last two points in five-game victory over BCCC
WYE MILLS After 40 ties, 20 lead changes and five games lasting more than two hours, Deja Acree had had enough.
"I was just trying to get that ball in the court and get this win," said Acree, one of two returners on Chesapeake College’s freshman-dominated women’s volleyball team, after her kill off a Jen Carr set finally put away Baltimore City Community College in Wednesday’s night season opener for both teams.
Chesapeake fought off a match point, scoring the last three points to notch a 25-15, 21-25, 25-20, 30-32, and 16-14 victory. Acree had the final two points, with her cross-court spike falling just inside the line to break a 14-14 tie and set up her match-winning kill into the wide-open middle of the Panthers’ defense.
In the process, the young Skipjacks gave their equally youthful head coach, Jordan Glessner, her first collegiate coaching victory. Glessner, who played for Chesapeake in 2007 and 2008 and graduated from Salisbury University this past spring, was actually a high school teammate of one of her current players.
"Jordan was a senior at Colonel Richardson when I was a junior," said Tiffeny Ricks, who starred for two years on Chesapeake’s softball team before returning this year to play volleyball. "I enjoy Jordan’s coaching she knows a lot about the game."
"They all asked how old I was," Glessner said of her players. "After I told them, they were like, ’Oh, my gosh, you’re the same age as Tiff.’ "
Glessner seemed as relieved as she was elated after her first coaching victory.
"I was excited," she acknowledged. "I couldn’t stop moving. I couldn’t stop talking."
Glessner’s team responded well to her coaching, especially in Game 1. The Skipjacks had seven aces and no service errors in the opener, including three aces by Lisa Hood during a game-ending, 7-0 run. Baltimore bounced back in Game 2, evening the match after eight ties and three lead changes.
Chesapeake blew out to a 13-5 lead in Game 3, but the Panthers clawed back within 20-19. The Skipjacks regrouped, finishing the game with a 5-1 run that included a point-scoring dink by Skipjack Myrea Carroll and a game-ending kill by Rose Smith.
"We would play well for five points and then let them back in the game," said Glessner. "And Baltimore kept fighting the whole way."
Game 4 featured high drama 19 ties, eight lead changes, three game points for Baltimore and five match points for the Skipjacks before the Skipjacks committed errors on the final three points to help Baltimore even the match.
"I think what you saw tonight was two young teams battling it out," said Baltimore head coach Amy Manougian.
The battle finally played out at the end of Game 5. Smith’s ace gave Chesapeake a 13-12 lead, but Acree netted a hit and Carr sent a hit long to give Baltimore a match point at 14-13. Jackson, however, was called for a net violation as the Skipjacks escaped match point, setting up Acree’s final two kills.
"Emotionally, this win was very important," said Glessner. "Deja said we have a better team than last year more potential. They just had to prove that to themselves."
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