Glenelg put together one of its best performances of the season Tuesday night and took down host Reservoir in straight sets.
The Gladiators (7-4 overall, 6-2 Howard County), who blew a two-set lead to Howard on Monday, emphatically closed out all three sets against the Gators (7-3, 5-3) to win 25-16, 25-19, 25-16.
“You can’t play not to lose and that was the big thing yesterday. We played not to lose, whereas today once we were up two sets the big speech was not letting up,” said Glenelg coach Jason Monjes. “We get the first five points and just keep going because if you give that team any kind of confidence it’s going to be a repeat of what we had yesterday.”
The Gladiators got their two big hitters going early. Middle blocker Gracen Alsheimer had two kills and a block in the first 13 points and outside hitter Maddie Myers keyed the strong finish with four kills and two aces during an 11-3 run to break a 13-all tie.
Reservoir led 11-6 in the second set after an ace by freshman Mayah Tucker and held a 17-14 advantage when the Gladiators started creeping back due in large part to the serving errors by the Gators. Down 19-17, Glenelg won the final eight points to close the stanza and take a 2-0 lead.
“We started to clean up our game,” Monjes said. “We were digging a lot more balls and Lydia [Stricker] really got on a run serving.
Reservoir coach Carole Ferrante said the issues were self-inflicted.
“When you have three straight serving errors in a row when you are up 17-14, you put a team right back in the game,” she said. “... We were in a good place. Three serving errors in a row gives another team some momentum and the ability to think they’re going to outperform you. You need to shut the window.”
The third set was no contest. The Gladiators never trailed and took an 11-4 lead after 8-2 run that included two more kills from Myers. A mini 3-0 run gave the Gators hope down 20-14 but Glenelg righted the ship. Myers finished the match with her team-high 13th kill.
Alsheimer finished with five kills and a block, Katie Laport added four kills and a block, Alyssa Kelly had three kills, three assists and 18 digs and Lydia Stricker did a little bit of everything with two kills, 30 assists, two aces, five digs and half a block. In addition to the 13 kills, Myers shined defensively with 16 digs.
Monjes said the game plan heading into the game was to attack Reservoir’s young players and get them out of system.
“The biggest thing was we could not let them pass the ball,” he said. “We knew we had to attack some of their outsides because we thought we’d be more successful there.
Ferrante, meanwhile, oozed positivity after the loss. She pointed to her team’s lack of execution but said the mistakes came because they’re trying to make big plays with aggressive shots.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “You can’t get mad losing a game like that because a lot of it looks brilliant on both sides. I thought it was just a very well played game; it was just us trying to do some of the bigger things that we’re practicing. We just fell a little short on them and that’s OK.”
Latest Howard County Sports
Kayla Browne had seven kills, a block and two digs and freshman Gabby Allen had 18 digs to go with an ace and an assist for the Gators.