LEWISTOWN - It's never easy to come back and play with spirit after a first set loss of 25-0. But on Thursday night, when the Mifflin County volleyball team took on State College, that's exactly what the Huskies did.
Although the Huskies lost three straight sets for a 3-0 loss in the Commonwealth Division match, Mifflin County coach Matt Kern was pleased with the way his team played tough and kept up its spirit despite the fact that his girls were far outmatched by the Little Lions.
And up against the opposition State College presented, it was impressive for the Huskies to maintain that good attitude. State College was not only strong on the service, scoring 61 of its total 75 points that way. The Little Lions also had a height advantage, resulting in lots of blocks on the defense and kills on the offense.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Mifflin County’s Jenna Snyder, center, and Kaitlyn Dreese, right, go up for a block against State College Thursday evening at Lewistown. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com.
Add to that the fact that Mifflin County didn't score a point the whole first set, and no one would have been surprised if the Huskies came out hanging their heads in the second set.
But rather than coming into the second set flat, the Huskies were charged and came into it with a lot of energy.
"Hanging up a zero isn't ideal," Kern admitted. "But, you know, I don't think they hung their heads in the (second set). They came out and they pushed, and they made State College a little bit uncomfortable at times and that's what it took."
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And Kern's right - his girls came into the second set pushing back, and for the first few possessions, appeared as if they might be able to hang with State College.
After State College came out with service of the ball and scored the first point of the set, Mifflin County's Hannah Miller broke the Little Lions' scoring streak with a perfectly placed return. With the score at 1-1, Mifflin County gave up service right away, but the Huskies still weren't to be counted out. As the ball was volleyed back and forth, Mifflin County's Sarah Bonson got the setup and killed the ball to regain service for her team.
From that point, with Mifflin County trailing only 2-4, both teams fought back and forth for service of the ball, but eventually State College's superior size, service, and ball control came into play and the Little Lions slowly widened the scoring gap until they were able to win the set, 25-9.
While it was disappointing to take the loss after entering into the set with such enthusiasm, Kern was impressed with the way his girls performed in the second set.
"If they play like that the rest of the year with that much communication and energy, everything will be perfect," Kern said.
Entering into the match against State College, Mifflin County had just come off a big win against Millersburg, and although the score would not indicate it, Kern believes his girls performed just as well against State College as they did against Millersburg.
"It was easily equally, if not better," Kern said. "I'm quite pleased. If you took the scoreboard away, I'm quite pleased with tonight's performance."