Focus on Sports
Skipjacks prove they belong in volleyball postseason

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2007

HAGERSTOWN – The Skipjacks proved they belonged in the postseason after all.

Chesapeake College´s women´s volleyball team, which started last week with just one victory this season, forced pool play into overtime Saturday in the NJCAA Region XX Division II championship tournament at Hagerstown Community College. The Skipjacks finished in a three-way tie for second place in Pool B – and the accompanying berth in Sunday´s semifinals – before dropping a 30-28 decision to Harford Community College as part of a three-way playoff.

Harford then beat Beaver (Pa.) County Community College to advance to Sunday´s semifinals, but Chesapeake head coach Jay Covey said his Skipjacks had already proven their point.

"Ultimately, we ended up gaining some respect," said Covey, whose team started its turnaround by beat Baltimore City Community College and CCBC-Catonsville in its final two regular-season matches. "We had a lot of people telling us we played well at the end."

The College of Southern Maryland breezed through Pool B without dropping a game, but Beaver, Harford and Chesapeake split with each other in a series of best-of-three matches.

Beaver defeated Chesapeake, 30-22, 21-30 and 15-10, while Harford downed Beaver, 30-26, 19-30 and 15-11. Chesapeake then created the three-way tie for second place by defeating Harford, 21-30, 30-27, and 15-12.

"We got to beat a team that beat us twice in the regular season," said Covey of the win over Harford. "We weren´t a pushover and everyone knew that."

Chesapeake´s win over Harford set up the three-team playoff for the last semifinal berth. Beaver earned the bye, thanks to best point differential, while Chesapeake and Harford met again in a 30-point match.

Covey said the Skipjacks (3-8 in the regular season) used a balanced effort to beat Harford once and nearly take out the Owls again in the playoff.

"Jordan Glessner played well defensively, Kyra Ringgold and Verushka Perez came up with timely hitting and blocking, and Chelsea Cohee did some strong setting," said Covey. "We had important contributions from a lot of different players."

Harford followed its 30-28 win over Chesapeake with a 30-26 victory against Beaver to earn a semifinal match with top-seeded host Hagerstown. The Hawks defeated Harford, 30-16, 30-18, and 30-22, while Southern Maryland downed CCBC-Catonsville, 30-22, 30-19, and 30-24, in the semifinals.

Hagerstown claimed the title by rallying past CSM, 26-30, 30-21, 30-28, and 30-28, in Sunday afternoon´s championship match. The Hawks will represent Region XX in the NJCAA Division II national tournament November 15-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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