Curwensville volleyball needs five sets to down rival Clearfield
Friday, September 19, 2008
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
HYDE - It's always interesting when the Clearfield and Curwensville volleyball teams get together.
Thursday's match was no different, and it had the fans wishing they'd brought more snacks with them for the long night.
The two teams went five sets at the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium with Curwensville coming out on top, 25-18, 16-25, 24-26, 25-16 and 15-12.
"Clearfield is a scrappy team," said Lady Tide head coach Sandy Bailor. "They go for the ball, and they are always hustling. And, they are a good serving team. I come in here and I don't expect anything because I know what a Clearfield-Curwensville match is like.
"They wanted to win this match. They worked through the mental mistakes. We did have a lot of hitting errors and made some bad choices. Overall, I think we played a nice game."
Curwensville won the first match thanks to some key kills by sophomore hitters Rachel Michaels and Taylor Thornhill.
Thornhill had 16 kills and four blocks, while Michaels finished the game with 11 kills and three blocks.
"I'm proud of them," Bailor said. "They are really starting to get into their own. Last year, I threw them in as freshmen and it was hard for them. This year they are starting to learn the game more, and it's starting to show."
The second set was all Clearfield, as Curwensville struggled to set up clean passes and communicate on the receive.
Clearfield got some key service runs in the set from Sophia Reed. Reed served up five points in the second set, including four straight that helped put the game away.
"Our serving was pretty good tonight," said Lady Bisons head coach Bob Peters. "Sophia had a few nice runs for us. The girls made a lot of good decisions. You just never know what's going to happen in a Clearfield-Curwensville match. If we played a best-of-seven match, maybe we would have won it."
Curwensville managed just four service points the entire set as Clearfield went on to win 25-16.
The Lady Bisons continued to hold that momentum in the third set, taking advantage of several mistakes at the net by the Lady Tide.
"They kept saying, ‘What is wrong with us,' " said Bailor. "I told them, they need to start out strong and stay strong instead of being lazy and going in there thinking just because we took the first set, the second set is going to be an easy game.
"Every team we play is a good team, and we have to play them like a good team. I think that's what happened in the second set. I had to just let them ride it out, because there isn't a whole lot you can say to them."
Curwensville finally rebounded down 22-17, rallying to take a 24-22 lead. But Clearfield continued to stay with it and bounced back with a three-point rally at the service line from Samantha Broad to take the 26-24 victory.
"I told them in that third game that you may lose this game, but you have to battle," said Bailor. "You have to get back to your game. And you could see when we started setting the ball up and pounding the ball, that's when we were in our groove."
The Lady Tide rebounded in the fourth set, taking control early to jump out to the lead.
Morgan Peterman had a five-point service run, while Stephanie Vicary had three kills in the set to help Curwensville take the 25-16 victory and force the deciding set.
Both teams struggled to start the fifth set, as neither could find a rhythm. With the game knotted at 4-4, Jayme McKenzie served up two points, both backed by kills from Michaels to give Curwensville a 7-4 advantage.
Clearfield got the side-out on a block by Reed, but couldn't keep the momentum as a big kill by Vicary gave the Lady Tide back the ball.
After Curwensville took a 9-5 lead, the Lady Bisons pulled to within 9-8 on service points by Monika Parks.
The Lady Tide got the ball back when a Clearfield return fell short, and Shannon McDonald put down two points to extend the lead to 12-8.
Clearfield got another side out, but a kill by Thornhill swung the momentum back in Curwensville's favor. After taking a 14-12 lead, the Lady Tide nabbed the win when a Lady Bison return went out of bounds, setting the final at 15-12.
"It was a great match," Peters said. "They had the momentum for the first game, and we had it for the next two games. Unfortunately, they got it back in those last two. I told the girls that I was disappointed with the loss but not with their performance."
Curwensville travels to West Branch on Saturday for the Warrior Blast Tournament.
Clearfield returns to action on Tuesday at Brookville.
Curwensville won the junior varsity match 25-8, 25-19.