MOUNT UNION - Looking at the score sheet Thursday night, West Branch came away with a 3-1 victory over Mount Union in Inter-County League volleyball action.
However, looking more closely at the stats - not to mention watching the contest - it was obvious that the Trojans went toe-to-toe with the Warriors in a match that both teams battled through, leaving everything out on the court.
Despite the loss, Mount Union coach Tessa McCormick liked how her team played from beginning to end.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY?KREITZER
Mount Union’s Marissa Dimoff (15) backs up teammate Brittany Knable (30) as she gets a dig against West Branch Thursday night in Mount Union. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
"I think this year their offense is a little more faster, more so than ours," McCormick said. "Our defense wasn't fast enough for their offense. It wasn't necessarily they were playing more aggressive it's that they were playing a faster offense and we weren't getting there on the tips and that will win ball games.
"It's always about who has the faster offense and who's not playing defense and that's usually how it goes. I was very happy with how we played, just at the beginning of each set we got off to a slow start. When there's close games like that, that kind of makes the ball game."
In the first game of the night, West Branch opened the contest by going out to an 8-3 advantage. The Warriors went to the finesse game for most of the game, finding openings in between the front and back lines and dinking the ball on the front sides of the net.
With the large lead, the Trojans were never able to totally complete the comeback, falling 25-18.
One of the keys to the Warriors' success on this evening was limiting the touches and power spikes of Mount Union's front line force, Kristen Miles.
Miles did get her share of spikes, but for the most part West Branch limited her and the power game, allowing only eight spikes on the night.
Mount Union showed what it was made of in the second match of the night, falling behind by three midway through the game, with the visitors sitting on a 14-11 lead. However, this one belonged to the Trojans as they rallied back to tie the contest at 15 thanks on a service point by Miles.
The two battled closely down the stretch, tied at 25. In the run, Marissa Dimoff's long spike ignited the crowd and put her team up 22-21 at the time.
Then trailing 25-24, Mount Union kept the contest alive when Abigail Grove hit the biggest shot of the contest.
From there, Mount Union got two consecutive service points from Chapin Giuliante and a game-winning shot by Grove, making the match a 1-1 affair with a 27-25 victory.
In game three, the Warriors came back in a strong way, taking the contest 25-14.
Mount Union would not go down without a fight as they combined with West Branch for a total of 26 side outs in the final game in a close 25-22 final game.
Mount Union is back in action Monday against Huntingdon.