08/19/08 — Chargers escape with win over Eagles

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Chargers escape with win over Eagles

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 19, 2008 1:36 PM

Facing a cross-town rival is bound to get any team fired up. But Wayne Country Day nearly got too tangled up in those emotions Monday afternoon.

The Chargers pulled off a 16-25, 25-16, 25-17, 15-25, 15-9 victory over Wayne Christian.

"I tell the girls all the time that volleyball is a game of momentum as well as a game of strategy," said Chargers head coach Juliet Jones. "It's all about who gets hot at the right time and makes the right play in the heat of the moment."

After playing their best fundamentally in games two and three, the Chargers suffered a series of lapses in the fourth game. The momentum shifted back to the Eagles' favor.

Wayne Christian (0-1 overall) raced out to a 7-2 advantage in the game's opening moments and never looked back. Things went from bad to worse for the home crowd when the Chargers were penalized one point for serving out of order.

The Eagles eventually evened the match at two games apiece with a 25-15 rout and forced a decisive fifth game.

"We got behind early, and you can't do this game and be successful," said Jones. "I just hoped that we could regain our focus before the final game."

In the final game, the Chargers jumped out in front thanks to a strong serve by Kayla Flanagan. Two strong blocks from Brittney O'Hara increased the lead. Wayne Country Day used multiple unforced errors to their advantage and survived a late rally to capture the fifth game 15-9.

Hitter Bridgette Briggs capped the Chargers' victory with an overpowering service ace.

"We don't have a very deep rotation, so it is important for our girls to play up to their potential," said Jones. "For a team with only seven varsity players, I think this team has a lot of talent and a lot of potential."

Wayne Christian head coach Rick Moore was proud of his team despite of the final result.

"I thought we played pretty well, and I was really pleased with the effort," said Moore. "We are really young, with a freshman and three sophomores playing significant time, so I was pleased to see them compete the way they did.

"The girls are disappointed right now, but I think when they look back at tonight they will realize just how well they played."

The Eagles were led offensively by Katie Daniels' 11 kills and Hanna Kaler's 18 assists. Kaitlyn Kosuda contributed 4 blocks.

"We don't have a lot of time to think about this game, so we need to forget about it and get ready to play tomorrow," said Moore. "That's the great thing about playing tomorrow."

The Eagles open Carolina Christian 1-A Conference play today at Northwood Temple. The Chargers return to action next Monday at Fayetteville Christian.