Tigers, Cougars ousted in tourney
WASHINGTON – It was business as usual at the Bull Run District volleyball
tournament on Saturday afternoon for local squads and their opponents.
Manassas Park came in having defeated every team at least once, except
for undefeated No. 1 seed Clarke County. Brentsville had gone to three sets
with Madison County in splitting the team’s first two meetings.
The No. 5-seeded Cougars started strong, but faltered in a 15-12, 15-4
loss to the Eagles; while the No. 3-seeded Tigers rallied from a first-set
loss to win the second, only to be blown away in the third in a 15-11, 12-15,
The losses ended the season’s for both teams.
In days first match, Manassas Park took a 4-2 lead early after Clarke
County came out a bit skittish.
The Cougars upped the lead to 7-4 on three straight winners off the
serves of Missy Hartman. While none were aces, the Cougars got the points
from some excellent digging by Rosalyn Munoz and Maryanne Wampler and a
couple of kills by Jennifer Steele.
After losing serve, the wheels started to come undone.
Clarke County’s Jessica Skinner got the first of her five kills in the
set as the Eagles rolled off seven straight points.
Skinner proved to be the difference in the match. The senior had eight
kills, five of which were assisted by Sara Ayres. Ayres had seven assists
to lead all players.
Clarke County coach Lisa Cooke said her team was nervous at the beginning,
but found itself after she called a timeout.
“It’s our first time here, so we were nervous,” she said.
“We tend to start slow. But once they got the sets and spikes going
with Jessica and Sara we starting hitting the ball much better all around.”
Steele served up five winners in a row, including two aces, as the Cougars
took the lead again at 12-11. After a side out, however, the Eagles took
Clarke’s Becky Armstrong served up four winners in a row and got the
game-winner when Steele misplayed the ball.
In the second game, it was more of the same as Clarke jumped out to
a 7-0 lead and never had any problems from Manassas Park.
A fitting description of the match came from two Cougar service games
with the score 8-2.
After Steele made two diving digs to keep the ball alive, the Cougars
failed to get the ball over on the third trip over the net. Following a
side out, the next Cougar possession was more of the save as Steele made
another diving stab at a ball, only to watch as a Cougar batted the ball
into the net.
“We didn’t click out there today,” Manassas Park coach Anna
Huerta said. “We were a little nervous, maybe a little surprised to
be here [in the second round]. We just didn’t have it.”
Steele, who led the Cougars with seven service winners, three aces and
two kills, said the team’s lack of height did it in.
“Look around, we are easily the shortest team here,” she said.
“We don’t get a lot of blocks. Today we gave them too many chances
and they took advantage of them.”
In the day’s second game, Brentsville faced off against No. 3-seeded
Madison County. The two teams split during the regular season, with the
home team always the winner.
On the neutral court, the ceiling seemed to be the big winner.
With low rafters, the Rappahannock County gymnasium proved to be the
main foe of the Tigers, who repeatedly put balls into the rafters in crucial
In the first game, Brentsville jumped out to a 5-1 advantage but soon
found itself in a tight game after two winners by Madison’s Lauren Taylor
and three by Lindsay Jones gave the Mountaineers a 6-5 edge.
After a quick side out by Madison, Laurel Hundley stepped up and delivered
five winners on hard serves (two aces) to give her team the 11-5 edge.
The Tigers battled back to make it 12-11 Mountaineers, including two
aces by senior Julie Englehart.
But the rally ended after a thunderous defensive kill by Madison’s Ashlee
Henshaw gave her team the ball back and Henshaw followed up with a kill
off a block of Susan Miles to make it 13-11. The next two serves were aces
from Madison’s Betty Joe Utz to finish out the game.
In the second game, the two teams battled back-and-forth to a 9-7 Tigers’
From there Miles served up five winners off of nice spinning serves
to make it 14-7.
Two times in the series, Tiger hitter Lynnette Mumaw made double diving
digs to help earn points.
Mumaw finished with a team high nine digs.
The Mountaineers would eventually cut the gap to 14-12, but Kim McRoy
finished out the game with a kill, assisted by Crystal Phipps.
The final game came down to the ceiling.
Five times in the final game Brentsville hit a ball into the rafters.
And while it bounced around like a ping-poing ball, it was still live. Each
time, however, the Tigers allowed the ball to find the ground. Four of the
five were on Madison County points.
“That’s a mistake we made,” Tigers coach Bill Teel said. “We
hit the ball [in the rafters] and just stand around. If you have someone
on the ball at all times, you’ll get those.”
Englehart said the rafters gave them troubles, but it wasn’t the reason
the team lost.
“The ceiling is really low here, but [Madison County] had to deal
with it too,” she said. “It was something you had to work with.
The match fell apart for the Tigers when Madison’s Holly Utz started
serving with her team up 5-1.
Utz blasted five serves at Englehart, two for aces and three misplayed
by the Tiger standout.
“I don’t know what happened. I guess I had a brain fart out there,”
she said. “I played like crap. Don’t know what was going on. I couldn’t
even just bump the ball.”