Glenelg tops River Hill for ninth straight win

Tursell, Stradling show way for No. 2 Gladiators

Volleyball

October 15, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Glenelg senior middle hitter Sarah Tursell continues to be perplexed with the second-ranked Gladiators' performances this season.

"I have no clue what this team is going to do coming into a match," she said.

Tursell's bemusement is puzzling, however, because a quick glance at the Gladiators' record seems to indicate a pattern. With yesterday evening's 15-8, 15-10, 15-12 victory over No. 9 River Hill, host Glenelg remained unbeaten through nine matches.

"This team never ceases to amaze me," Tursell said. "Sometimes we're terrible. We have our moments like every team, but somebody always picks up the slack. There is no limit to what this team can do."

Tursell led the way last night, along with junior setter Tara Stradling. Tursell finished with seven kills, seven aces and five blocks, while Stradling had 19 assists and an ace. Stradling spread the ball around, as seven Glenelg players all registered at least one kill. The Gladiators (9-0, 9-0 Howard County league) also totaled nine blocks as a team.

For River Hill (6-3, 6-3), which lost its second straight, setter Molly Miller had 12 assists and hitter Carly Barisich slammed a team-high seven kills.

After dropping the first two games, the Hawks appeared likely to push the match to a fourth game when they quickly raced to a 10-3 advantage in the third game.

But from there Glenelg rushed back behind Tursell to take 12 of the match's final 14 points. Shortly after Tursell had a kill to trim River Hill's lead to 11-8, she hit four consecutive aces to turn an 11-9 River Hill advantage into a 13-11 Glenelg lead.

Tursell then hit the match-clinching kill at 14-12 to give Glenelg third-year coach Jennifer Beall her first victory over River Hill in five attempts.

"This was a very meaningful victory," Beall said. "I've had most of these same girls, and I definitely think our program has steadily improved the last three years. I'm pleased overall. We're doing nice things."

For the Hawks, the final game was slightly disconcerting because it marked the third time in their last two matches in which they failed to put a game away after leading by six points or more.

"It's not necessarily us, because Glenelg has kids who are seniors who stepped up and know what to do with the ball in pressure situations and go for it," River Hill coach Sybil Modispacher said. "We're starting to improve, but they should have won. They should win the county and the 2A states."

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