LEWISTOWN - It was almost as if two different teams showed up to play for the Mifflin County volleyball team Tuesday night - an aggressive, well organized team, and an error-ridden team which had trouble with its passes.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, the superior team didn't stay around long enough to get the win, as Commonwealth Division opponent Central Dauphin shut down Mifflin County 3-0.
"When (we) can control the ball and give ourselves the opportunity to make a play, we fare well," Mifflin County coach Matt Kern said.
Sentinel photo by MATT?STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Jenna Snyder (9) goes up for a block against Central Dauphin’s Anna Green Tuesday in Commonwealth Division volleyball action in Lewistown.
And that was evident in the second set of the match, in which Mifflin County lost 25-27, but threatened to take the win the whole set.
After losing the first set 15-25, Mifflin County fell behind Central Dauphin early in the second set, with the score at 9-4. But unlike the first set, in which the Huskies had trouble setting up the pass and keeping the ball in bounds, the Huskies' fighting side came out, and the girls weren't about to let Central Dauphin run away with the win.
With some strong service from Mifflin County's Kaitlyn Dreese and Sarah Bonson, the Huskies dug down deep and eventually caught up with Central Dauphin to make the score 14-14.
IF YOU GO
Mifflin County hosts Upper Dauphin today
From there, the momentum began to swing in Mifflin County's favor, and the Huskies kept their cool by setting up good plays and keeping the ball in bounds as they inched the score forward, eventually taking a 23-19 lead.
Just two points from winning the set, all Mifflin County needed to do was keep service of the ball and score those two points, but the girls couldn't quite pull through. After giving up service of the ball, the Huskies couldn't hold their lead against the Rams, and Kern had to call time out to try to help his team keep the lead.
"In that time out I told them, 'If you can get one of these next couple points, you for sure will win. If not, you're going to have a fight on your hands.' And that's exactly what happened," Kern said.
Kern evidently knew what he was talking about.
The Huskies' lead continued to slip after the timeout, and Central Dauphin was one point away from the win with a 24-23 lead, but the Huskies weren't done fighting yet. Bonson came out with a big kill for the Huskies, to put the score at 24-24 with the ball in Mifflin County's possession. Central Dauphin then turned it right around to take the lead, but then Bonson and teammate Jenna Snyder made a block at the net to again tie the score and take service of the ball.
Tied at 25-25, the set went into extra points and it was anybody's game. But unfortunately for the Huskies, the intensity leading up to that point wasn't quite enough to keep them at the top. After two more volleys, Central Dauphin took the set 27-25.
Down 2-0 by this point, there wasn't much left for Mifflin County, and the girls lost the set 14-25.
"I do feel like our passing broke down. We weren't putting any ball on the target, and running for everything. We were making the scramble, and you're not going to get ahead of a team that's that ready to go when you're scrambling for the ball," Kern said of his team's third-set performance.
Overall, Kern could see both the highs and lows to his team's performance against Central Dauphin, but he felt the biggest disappointment was the loss of the second set.
"The biggest thing that I'm upset with was in the second set when we were up by about five, and then giving up the lead and then taking it into extra points and losing. That's not ideal. When you're up like that you have to learn how to shut the door and continue on," Kern said.
The Huskies lost 2-0 in the JV match.
Mifflin County (3-11, 1-10) hosts Upper Dauphin today.