10/12/12 — Jones surpasses century mark at WCDS

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Jones surpasses century mark at WCDS

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 12, 2012 1:48 PM

Every player did her part and made a career milestone even more memorable for Wayne Country Day head varsity volleyball coach Juliet Jones on Thursday afternoon.

Jones surpassed the 100-win plateau in the Chargers' 25-15, 25-19, 29-27 triumph over John Paul II Catholic High School. Sarah Crooks pounded out a match-high 12 kills and senior middle hitter Hannah Pearson added 10 for WCDS, which avenged an earlier three-set loss to the scrappy and spirited Saints.

"Everybody wanted revenge, wanted to play better," said Jones, who is 101-79 in nine seasons. "Not one person stood out. (We) played as a team."

The difference this time was execution.

In their previous meeting, the Chargers (9-8 overall) played without setter Rachel Uzzell and constantly struggled to stay in their offensive system. Uzzell's presence proved valuable in the rematch as she distributed a match-high 30 assists among six hitters.

WCDS hit .219 in the three-set affair.

Crooks ignited a 10-1, opening-set run that included five aces. The Saints (8-7) attempted to chip away at a multiple-point deficit later in the set, but the Chargers' Jessica Zhou closed it out with a kill off Uzzell's assist.

"Phenomenal serving," said Jones.

The teams battled through seven ties and seven lead changes until Pearson's kill put WCDS in front 19-18. The Chargers finished off the set with a 6-1 run that included two aces from Pearson, and two kills and one ace from Crooks.

A tense and tightly-played third set mirrored the second.

The lead changed hands on seven occasions and there were 17 ties. JPCH fended off three consecutive match points, but couldn't convert two of its own to force a fourth set.

John Paul couldn't close out a block on Crooks' off-speed shot the net and the ball dropped at the Saints' feet. Tied at 27-all, Crooks delivered another off-speed shot to the backline that gave the Chargers match point.

Crooks finished off JPCH with a kill to midcourt off Uzzell's assist.

"John Paul is a scrappy team," Jones said. "Just when you think the ball is down, they go and get it. I told our girls not to settle and think that it (the point) was over, which they did a couple of times.

"But they pulled through, kept it together and I was proud of them for that."

Bailee Creger and Brooke Neal spearheaded the Chargers' defense, which recorded 29 digs.