Liberty coach Dave Trumbo said there are some in the area's volleyball circles who scoff at his demanding training regimen, which includes a large amount of cardiovascular work for players who often don't have to move more than 10 feet at a time.
Last night at South Carroll, however, the extra work seemed to pay off, as the fresher Lions pulled out a 15-7, 9-15, 15-11, 8-15, 15-5 win over their Carroll County rival.
"A lot of people think that in volleyball you only have to run from here to there, but we do a lot of conditioning in practice," said Trumbo. "Anytime we get to the fifth game, we believe we're going to win it."
The big hitting of junior Lauryn Smith doesn't hurt, either.
The 5-foot-9 Smith, who boasts a 24-inch vertical leap, had 22 kills, including 18 in the first three games, and senior Stephanie Wilder added 14, as Liberty (3-0 overall, 2-0 in the county) recovered from a momentum-shifting fourth-game loss to dominate game five.
"That one could've gone either way," said South Carroll coach Debbie Eaton. "I really was confident after the fourth game that we were going to come back and win. We were doing good things, but we got a little too tentative at the end. We need to be aggressive and hit instead of just sending the ball back over the net."
Led by the hitting of junior Emily Wolfing and senior Devin Caballero, and the setting and serving of senior Brianna Schell, the Cavaliers (1-2, 0-1) looked on their way to victory after rallying to score 13 of the final 15 points in the fourth game.
The fifth and deciding game, however, was a different story, as the Lions broke to a 4-0 lead and never looked back.
"Every other game, we seemed to play well," said Trumbo.
"We passed really well. When the passes are there, then the sets are there, and it gives me the chance to swing," said Smith, who was the county's top rebounder in basketball last winter as a sophomore.
Against a South Carroll team that has already played two five-game sets in three matches this season, Liberty's big hits proved too much to overcome.
"They were playing hard, and five games is a lot of games," said Eaton. "They weren't playing like they were tired, but they just had a couple lapses."
"I think we can go a long way," said Smith. "We just need to be more intense on the court. I think we play great as a team, but we need to always pick each other up and be ready."
Pub Date: 9/15/99