10/03/07 — Wayne Christian outlasts Chargers

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Wayne Christian outlasts Chargers

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on October 3, 2007 3:22 PM

Wayne Country Day volleyball coach Juliet Jones has preached finishing games to her team all season.

The Chargers just couldn't get the message Tuesday afternoon. They let leads slip away in every set as county archrival Wayne Christian prevailed 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13.

"I know the effort was there and they wanted to win," said Jones, whose team dropped to 10-4 overall. "When we're up, we have to stay up and finish. We know though, every time we play Wayne Christian, it's a battle."

The game was an all out war from the outset with neither team able to gain any working margin.

After Wayne Christian (7-7) took the first game, Wayne Country Day battled back. Two kills by Shelly Sullivan sandwiched between a pair of Erin Taylor service aces gave the Chargers a 13-11 advantage.

The Eagles came back to take a two-point lead at 22-20 following a kill by Meredith Craig and an errant kill attempt by the Chargers. Wayne County Day eventually finished off Wayne Christian 25-22 to tie the contest at one game apiece.

Game three was another dog fight with neither side building more than a two-point advantage. The Eagles made their move late following a kill by Traci Davis and a block by Hope Wright, erasing a two-point deficit to tie the game.

Two unforced errors by the Chargers game then gave the Eagles game three 25-23.

"We knew we had to build up a little bit more to win the third game," said Wayne Christian coach Dawn Norris. "We played with a lot of intensity and heart out there."

Presented with a must-win situation in game four, WCDS was up to the challenge. The Chargers built a comfortable 10-point lead thanks in part to five kills from Jessica Lewis.

"Jessica's a big asset to the team," said Jones. "Just her presence can be intimidating. She stepped it up today"

The lead began to dwindle as the Eagles clawed their way back.

Six straight unforced errors by the Chargers and two kills by Katie Daniels pulled WCS to within 24-22. The Chargers survived and forced a fifth game.

The decisive game began just like the previous four with neither team able to gain a big lead. The Chargers managed to pull ahead by three on two different occasions, but the Eagles refused to go away.

"They fought back," said Jones.

Trailing 12-10, the Eagles' Davis recorded a kill and Kaitlyn Kosuda followed with an ace to tie the game. Following a point by the Chargers, Wright came up with a huge block to again tie the game.

On the ensuing serve by Brooke Norris, WCDS sent a bad pass out of bounds bringing match point. Wright then finished off the Chargers with a thunderous kill sending the Eagles onto the court exchanging hugs.

"It was incredible," Norris said of Wright's final kill. "This is obviously a huge rival and we always like to come away with a victory. She's one of our strongest players and I'm so proud of her."

Daniels led the Eagles with 17 kills while Wright finished with eight. Norris added a game-high 33 assists and Davis seven aces for Wayne Christian.

Lewis led the Chargers with 15 kills and three blocks, while Stephanie Sykes added nine kills.