This time, Atholton volleyball coach Sybil Kessinger had nothing up her sleeve to contend with No. 7 Glenelg.
Last week, Kessinger promised to wear black lipstick to school after the Raiders rebounded to beat Lackey, but yesterday Glenelg proved way too consistent for such a deal to save the Raiders.
The defending state Class 2A champion Gladiators (2-0 overall, 1-0 league) played excellent defense and let visiting Atholton make the mistakes en route to a 15-9, 15-7, 15-12 victory.
"Glenelg is an incredibly good defensive team," said Kessinger. "I don't think they killed us offensively -- they killed us defensively. There was not too much we could do to get a kill. They have a very consistent team."
In fact, the Gladiators' top hitter Elisa Davidson had almost as many kills as the Raiders' top three. Davidson, pounded 14 kills.
Jennifer Ponzette led the Raiders (2-1, 1-1) with nine while Amanda Williams added four and Madigan Marth, three kills.
That wasn't anywhere near enough power to offset the mistakes. The Raiders missed 11 serves, had trouble passing and frequently spiked the ball long or into the net.
"The key to our team is getting our serves in," said Williams. "We could be the best passing team in the county, but if we can't get our serves in, we can't win."
The Raiders led the first game 5-2, but a serve into the net opened the way for a four-point Glenelg run. Not until the third game, did the Raiders come close to getting back into the match.
After trailing by as much as 12-4 in the third game, Ponzette, Williams and Marth led a comeback to bring the Raiders within 13-12. In Atholton's best rally of the match, Ponzette had two kills and Williams another in a four-point run that pulled the Raiders within 13-10.
Glenelg coach Marlene Janis called a timeout trying to thwart the Raiders' momentum. It worked. Susan Geisler forced a sideout with her hit off a Raiders' block.
But the Gladiators netted the next serve, one of only four service errors in the match.