Mitchell, River Hill top Glenelg


High schools

October 27, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Let's be clear about something: River Hill's Megan Mitchell is not the glue that holds her volleyball team together.

She's much more than that.

Lately, Mitchell has been the duct tape, the nail gun and the cornerstone that has kept the No. 6 Hawks from crumbling in key moments, like in last night's 15-11, 15-7, 17-15 win over No. 7 Glenelg.

"There's nobody else in the county playing like she is right now," River Hill coach Sybil Modispatcher said.

There are better volleyball players out there, but perhaps none more important to their team than Mitchell. Needing a win to reach the Howard County title game on Wednesday against Centennial, Mitchell led River Hill to a three-game sweep with nine kills, six aces, 10 digs and a block.

Even on the rare occasion when Mitchell couldn't dig up a blast from Glenelg's front line, it wasn't because of lack of effort. Countless times she went crashing to the floor or leaping into the stands, more often than not keeping the Hawks alive in the point.

"In my mind I just tell myself I don't want to see the ball touch the ground," Mitchell said. "I just try to play with intensity and hope it picks everyone else up."

The Hawks (11-2 overall, 11-1 county), who beat the Gladiators (11-3, 9-3) earlier this season in five games, easily took the first two games behind Krystal Jacobson (eight kills), Ali Kupec (five kills, four aces) and Mitchell, who helped serve River Hill to a 11-0 lead in the second game.

But the real test for River Hill came in the third and final game, when the Hawks had to cope without sisters Krystal and Stephanie Jacobson, two of their best players. Both Seventh-day Adventists, the Jacobsons' Sabbath begins at sundown Friday and goes until sundown Saturday, so at 6:15, both girls hugged their teammates, said goodbye and wished them luck.

"They're leaving for something so positive. The family values and the morals that their family has make those two girls outstanding," Modispatcher said.

If rattled at first, River Hill settled down, thanks to Mitchell, who had plenty of help from fellow seniors Robin Smith and Rosanna Drake. Glenelg led 14-7, only to see River Hill fight off eight game points in a rally that eventually resulted in a 17-15 win.

"We've become a much stronger all-around team," Mitchell said.

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