Eagles team up to beat Catoctin Volleyball


There were different heroes in each of the three games Francis Scott Key won last night to avenge an earlier loss to visiting Catoctin.

It made for a solid, all-around team effort that pleased coach Leo Totten, as Key (5-3) won, 15-10, 10-15, 15-10 and 15-4.

"The whole team played well and everyone stayed together," said Totten, whose squad lost at Catoctin in its opener in early September.

"The difference was our passes were much better and the teamwork was there tonight. Everyone stayed up, whether they were on the court or on the bench."

Trailing 5-2 in the opening game, Key's Karen Brooks came on to serve seven straight points to give the Eagles a 9-5 lead they never would relinquish.

After Catoctin (4-4) battled to 12-10, Brooks closed out the game with three strong serves. Feeling ill, Brooks played in the first two games and finished with 11 service points.

Catoctin used it size advantage to win Game 2, 15-10, to get even with the Eagles at 1-1. Allison Merico, Erica Wiley and Theresa Eiser each had big kills in the win as the visiting Cougars dominated at the net.

"The first time we saw them we got down and stayed down," Totten said. "We got down a bit in the second game, but were able to come back."

The Eagles rebounded in Game 3 behind the strong serving of Keri Chewning -- who came in for Brooks -- and Maureen Ritcey, along with the net play of Mandy Hansborough, Amber Smith and Melanie Montgomery.

Hansborough saw her first action of the night and was a big spark off the bench, finishing with three kills.

"Mandy doesn't see a lot of time, but got a chance and took advantage of it," Totten said.

"She really put the ball down and played a big role in the last two games. Keri also did a good job serving and setting in place of Karen."

The Eagles broke open the fourth and deciding game midway through with a run of six straight points. Julie LeBrun had two huge cross-court spikes during the stretch. Montgomery closed out the game with three straight service points.

Amanda Keeney finished with nine service points, and Ritcey joined Brooks with 11.

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