Manassas Journal Messenger 2/09/01



and Cougars advance in volleyball


Jim Crowley




NOKESVILLE – The Rappahannock County girls volleyball team’s season-long

futility against Brentsville continued in its Bull Run District quarterfinal

match Thursday night.

The sixth-ranked Panthers pushed every district opponent to three games

during the regular season except one: the third-ranked Tigers.

And nothing changed in the postseason, as Brentsville rolled to a 15-4,

15-5 win that propels them into the district semifinals Saturday afternoon

at – ironically – Rappahannock County.

The Tigers will play the winner of No. 2 Madison County and No. 7 George

Mason from their respective quarterfinal bout last night. The match is scheduled

for 12:30 p.m.

Brentsville will also be joined in the semis by No. 5 Manassas Park,

who beat No. 4 Strasburg 15-17, 15-12, 15-5. The Cougars play top-ranked

Clarke County at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Panthers coach Stan Brooks huddled his team following the match, consoled

his young squad that is mainly composed of freshmen and sophomores, and

told them they are team on the rise. However, no amount of optimism could

take the sting away from losing to Brentsville for a third time.

“We haven’t played well against them all year,” Brooks said.

“I think it has to do with style. We try to execute a specific type

of offense and if it falls, then we fall.

“We didn’t execute well, but they outhustled us. You’ve got to

give Brentsville credit.”

“We had a lot of confidence that we could beat them,” Brentsville

coach Bill Teel said.

Whatever swagger the Tigers had exploded after an early first-game flourish.

Julie Englehart sparked Brentsville’s onslaught by opening the contest

with six straight service points, including three aces. It was evident the

Panthers could not combat the velocity of her serves – or her kills. Englehart

had a team-high four defensive kills to go along with with eight service

points, a team-high five aces, one offensive kill, one dig and one assist.

“We were staying on our toes real well,” Englehart said.

Englehart helped the Tigers to a 6-0 advantage – a lead the Tigers would

not relinquish.

Janie Jarels scored an ace that made it 7-0, before Brentsville went

on another run.

Melanie Pittman scored six of her team-high nine service points in succession

thanks to a couple aces, some Panthers and a kill from Miles. Before the

Panthers could blink, Brentsville was ahead 13-0.

Rappahannock managed a couple points on an ousted Brentsville return

and an ace from Lara Kreyling. Then following a swap of side outs, they

made it 13-4 on a netted Tiger offering and a kill from sophomore Rachel

Sharpe. Brentsville was not fazed.

Miles closed out the game moments later. The Panthers deflected a volley

out of bounds and Miles ended it with an ace.

The second game was relatively slower than the first. But in a game

that only lasted 35 minutes, slow is a relative term.

Rappahannock gained its first and only lead of the night when Brentsville

returned Elaine Smith’s serve into the net.

But the Panthers would help erase their initial charge. With Jarels

serving, Rappahannock hit three consecutive balls out of play, then watched

Squires score a kill and Jarels hit an ace.

Crystal Phipps then scored a kill and Brentsville led 6-1. Phipps led

the Tigers with a team-high five assists.

Both teams stalemated each other eight times before the Panthers had

the game’s next score, 6-2.

Englehart picked up the pace, however. The senior ripped two aces in

a row.

The Panthers made it 9-3 on a kill from Jessica Nawrocki, but it would

be as close as they could get. As Englehart mentioned before, the Tigers

were quick on there feet.

Brentsville made some spectacular saves last night, but the best was

the subsequent side out. Sharpe, the Panthers’ middle hitter, crushed an

attempted kill that appeared to be headed out. Jarels, who was covering

the back line, lunged to keep it in play. The ball fell off Jarels’ attempt

and plunged to the ground. Englehart raced over to save it, and blasted

the ball into the rafters. After bounding off the retracted basketball backboard,

Miles timed an over-the-shoulder side-armed return. The attempt stunned

everyone, including the Panthers’ defense who watched it fall untouched

on their side of the net.

Pittman took serve, Phipps and Miles recorded kills and Brentsville

would climb to a 12-3 lead.

Both teams traded scores. And Lynnette Mumaw clinched the match with

an ace.

Brentsville will now take on Madison County, a team the Tigers split

with during the regular season. The first meeting was 2-1 decision in favor

of the Mountaineers. The second was a 2-0 sweep by Brentsville.

Teel said the determining factor will be errors.

“Who ever gets out there and makes the least mistakes is going

to win,” Teel said. “I think we got a good shot at it.”

Englehart agreed.

“If we go out there and play like the way we played tonight, we

can beat anyone, truthfully,” Englehart said.



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