Wright climbs back to overtake Edgewood

Mustangs lose 1st 2 games, come 2 points from defeat

Volleyball

October 22, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

When your team has won five consecutive Harford County volleyball titles, the tendency for C. Milton Wright coach Kim Mayforth is to worry about complacency and overconfidence, not nerves.

But yesterday, big-match jitters and a scrappy Edgewood team put the visiting Mustangs in a big hole, and they barely managed to get out.

Trailing two games to zero and just two points from defeat, No. 14 C. Milton Wright rallied to turn aside the upstart Rams, 14-25, 24-26, 26-24, 25-14, 15-10.

The victory, clinched on Katie Walsh's tip down the line, puts C. Milton Wright in position for a sixth consecutive county title. The Mustangs (10-1 overall, 5-0 league) need victories over Havre de Grace tomorrow and Harford Tech on Friday to win the crown outright.

Edgewood (8-3, 7-1) will likely finish in second place in the county.

"They told me that they were very nervous," said Mayforth, whose team got seven kills and four blocks from Samantha Dorsey and three aces, three kills and seven assists from Jenna Volk. "I just told them to go out and have fun. We've been teaching mental toughness for years now and this was a sure-fire match for mental toughness."

Struggling to combat the Rams' court coverage, the Mustangs saw Game 1 slip away with the Rams getting eight straight points on Lateia Green's serve, seven on Teyanna Johnson's and four on the serve of Brandiss Taylor, normally a middle hitter who performed admirably as the Rams' setter early yesterday.

Edgewood, benefiting from the net play of Lemaire Dargan and the serving of Johnson, took Game 2 and seemed to be on its way to wrapping up Game 3 with a 23-20 lead.

But with the game tied at 24, the Mustangs' Laura Canton (five kills, six blocks) registered two straight point blocks to give C. Milton Wright the game and all the momentum.

"I tell the girls all the time that volleyball is a mind game," said Rams coach Frank Medley. "They lost focus and when you lose that, you lose everything."

Said Mayforth: "We knew once we got a couple of points, we would take off."

After falling behind early in the decisive Game 5, the Mustangs got consecutive kills from Dorsey and Volk - both off Christina Barry sets - and a block from Stacey Horner for a 10-5 lead. The Rams never got closer than four points the rest of the way.

"It was so close, but everybody finally pulled together," Canton said. "I think Edgewood was frazzled, and after we got a couple of decisive points, they got down and never came back."

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