Glenelg coach Marlene Janis felt her team controlled the first game yesterday against host Mount Hebron. The Gladiators just didn't win it.
That first-game victory by Mount Hebron, in which it never led until the end, set the tone and the No. 4 Vikings defeated the No. 5 Gladiators, 16-14, 15-9, 15-7.
"We dominated the first game, but could not get the game point," said Janis, referring to the fact that her team was serving with a 14-12 lead but wound up watching Mount Hebron (3-1) win four straight points.
"We had a pressure situation and couldn't handle it. I thought we had a hard time coming back after that."
The Gladiators (3-1), who won the state Class 2A title two years ago but are inexperienced this year, just made too many mistakes against a solid opponent.
"We made all the errors," said Glenelg's hard-hitting Elisa Davidson, who had an outstanding match. "It's not that they made all good shots.
"They're a very consistent team, and we're not. We would win a couple of points, then lose a few and lose the momentum. We're going to practice on that."
Janis said, "We made too many errors against their consistent play. Our challenge now will be to minimize our mistakes and to handle pressure situations."
Trailing in the second game, 9-8, Mount Hebron took advantage of Glenelg mistakes and the play of Kate Hannas (10 kills, four blocks) to finish with seven straight points.
"Midway through the second game, we started controlling our passes and controlling the net," said Mount Hebron coach Henry Dahlan. "Everybody played very consistent. A little bending, but no breaking."
Amanda Smith (six kills for match), Sarah Nichols (five) and Kerry Quinn (four) led Mount Hebron in the third game. The Vikings took the lead for good at 5-4 and never looked back. Katie Coker's soft return for a winner ended the match.
"I'm happy that we bounced back from that heart-breaking loss to Centennial," said Dahlan, whose team lost to the No. 2 Eagles in four games last week. "Winning that first, close game was important. We hadn't done that in the past."