’Jacks dig deep, but can’t top champion Hawks
Chesapeake College comes alive in third game of cancer benefit
WYE MILLS The Skipjacks dug deep Monday night during their final "Dig Pink" cancer fundraiser, but couldn’t stop Hagerstown Community College from completing a perfect women’s volleyball conference season.
The Hawks (21-7 overall, 13-0 Maryland JuCo) finished their league slate by beating Chesapeake College, 25-16, 25-8, and 25-19. Hagerstown has now won 63 of its last 64 league matches and four of the last five state titles but the Skipjacks made the champs sweat a little bit in Game 3.
"If we want to be positive, we’re positive and aggressive," said Chesapeake head coach Jordan Glessner, who thought that aggressiveness served the Skipjacks well in Game 3. "Rose (Smith), Jen (Carr) and Katara (Pressley) led with their blocks, which really gave us some momentum."
Carr twice pulled the Skipjacks within three points, using a block to make it 17-14 and putting down a kill two points later that got Chesapeake within 18-15. Smith went for finesse over power two points later, using a dink to get the Skipjacks back within 20-17 before the Hawks ran off three straight points for a 23-17 lead.
"We were picking each other up (in Game 3)," said Carr. "We had good blocks and we covered our hitters."
The Skipjacks made one last charge as Smith had a point-scoring block and Carr delivered a sweeping dink shot into a hole in the Hawk defense to get Chesapeake within 23-19. Hagerstown, however, moved to match point when Elise Manning scored a kill off a quick set by Paige Kitchen, and Manning combined with Emmalyn Stahl for a point-scoring block to finish off the victory.
The kill Manning put down off Kitchen’s quick set to get to match point was a play the Hawks ran all evening particularly in Games 1 and 2 with great success.
"We can run that (the quick-setting attack to the middle hitters) because our middles do a good job of getting in there quick," said Hagerstown head coach Ann Reynolds. "We like to mix it up (on offense). After we run that (the quick set), we can switch up and have our setter push it outside where we can get our outside hitters one-on-one or with no one there (to block for the defense)."
Glessner said the quick-setting attack caused her Skipjacks problems.
"I don’t think we were used to adjusting as blockers to get up there (to the net) quickly," said Glessner. "We really weren’t ready for their quickness in the first two games, but our blockers really stepped up in Game 3."
Carr agreed with her coach.
"She (Kitchen) did a really nice job with that (the quick sets)," said Carr. "That was something that was hard for us to address."
Chesapeake concludes its regular season with a 6 p.m. match Friday night at the College of Southern Maryland. The Skipjacks will then compete in the NJCAA Division II regional tournament, which is also at CSM.
The Skipjacks ran two "Dig Pink" fundraisers this month to benefit the Side-Out Foundation, which raises funds for breast cancer research. The fundraisers included a bake sale, pink T-shirt sales, a silent auction, and donations for the Side-Out Foundation.
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