09/14/10 — Chargers secure comeback win

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Chargers secure comeback win

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 14, 2010 3:05 PM

This is our house.

Take care of business.

Do what you do best.

Wayne Country Day head volleyball coach Juliet Jones delivered those clear and simple messages in the locker room after seeing her team play two listless sets against county archrival Wayne Christian on Monday afternoon.

"She said she's never seen us play like this before," said senior middle hitter Kim Martell. "She said we weren't playing our game and we needed to step it up. We were not communicating and we all had bad attitudes."

The Chargers amped up their intensity, Martell and Hannah Pearson became more involved at the net. The duo combined for 31 kills in Wayne Country Day's come-from-behind 21-25, 12-25, 25-23, 25-15, 15-13 victory.

Sterling Coggins dished out a team-leading 15 assists for the Chargers, who earned a regular-season sweep over the Eagles. Martell added two blocks, while Jessica Zhou (15 digs) and Edie Hooks played superb defense the final two sets.

Outside hitter Brittney O'Hara paced Wayne Christian with 12 kills, while Courtney Albritton contributed eight. Katie Isenhower spread 21 assists among four different hitters in the five-set affair.

The teams battled through 13 ties and 10 lead changes throughout the afternoon. The Eagles (5-5 overall) controlled the tempo during the first two sets with a strong service game that accounted for 25 aces.

Martell ripped a kill off a double-block attempted by Wayne Christian's Albritton and Summer Brathwaite, which tied the opening set at 19-19. Martell's solo block against Brathwaite and Albritton's kill forged a 20-20 deadlock before the Eagles ended the set with a 5-1 run.

In the second set, Wayne Christian used six aces and 12 unforced errors by WCDS to claim a decisive 13-point win. Once the teams changed sides, Jones and assistant coach Dawn Norris led the Chargers into the locker room.

"The first two sets we were not talking at all, we had a lack of focus and were out of position defensively," said Jones. "Wayne Christian, I give them much credit, served well and knew where to find our weaknesses. I told them they're picking on you and I need you to step up."

Pearson and Martell, who had a combined nine kills in the first two sets, opened up their game at the net. Zhou dug out some monster hits off Albritton swings and the Chargers slowly built momentum.

Martell's ace created a 19-19 tie in the third set. Pearson delivered three kills and Sarah Crooks served an ace to make it 23-20. The Eagles fended off two set points before an unforced error ended the set.

WCDS enjoyed as much as an 11-point lead in the fourth set.

Each team fed off defensive mistakes throughout the decisive set until the Chargers moved in front 12-9 on Martell's kill off Pearson's assist. The Eagles grabbed a 13-12 lead on Isenhower's ace, but another Zhou dig against Isenhower gave WCDS the sideout.

Brooke Neal served an ace and Martell capped the comeback with a kill.

"It got away," said Eagles head coach Rick Moore. "We started playing tentative (after set two), weren't playing our game. The pressure got to us a little bit, but that's good because we need to play under pressure.

"I thought we matured a lot today, grew up some today and hopefully we'll handle pressure better the next time."