Tursell's kills help Glenelg spike Atholton

Co-captain puts away 19 shots in win over No. 14

Volleyball

High Schools

October 12, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Glenelg volleyball team can always rely on senior outside hitter Rebecca Tursell to serve, dig and block.

More importantly, however, the No. 5 Gladiators needed Tursell's array of power and accurate kills.

Tursell, who recorded a season-high 18 kills against No. 9 Mount Hebron on Thursday, outdid herself last night as she posted 19 kills to lift host Glenelg to a 27-25, 25-18, 25-16 victory over No. 14 Atholton.

Tursell, who also had an ace and an assist, was as comfortable blasting away at the net as she was using a deft touch.

"I was able to notice where their holes were," Tursell said, noting that many of her kills landed in the deep middle section of the Raiders' floor. "You don't have to have the most powerful hit. Most of the time, it's placement."

Senior setter Megan Graydon, who registered 24 assists in the first two games, said Tursell studies their opponents' defenses quickly.

"I can definitely tell that she's looking around and seeing the floor," Graydon said. "She hits a lot of open spaces, but she can hit them, too. In practice, when I dig her shots, they hurt."

The Gladiators, who improved to 8-1 overall and in Howard County to remain one game behind league-leading and No. 3 Centennial, needed Tursell in the first game, when Atholton was more energetic than the hosts.

Tursell, who lodged 10 kills in that game, softly dropped a kill to break a 25-25 tie, and a Raiders unforced error gave Glenelg the first game.

That seemed to kick-start the Gladiators, who raced out to a 19-9 advantage before holding off an Atholton surge to take the second game. Glenelg owned a 19-10 lead en route to winning the third game

Junior outside hitter Nicole Massarelli led the Raiders (5-4 overall and 5-3 in the county) with eight kills and two blocks.

Junior outside hitter Julie Hollrah chipped in with nine kills, and junior setter Allison Gittings compiled eight assists and five kills for Gladiators coach Don Beall, who marveled at Tursell's performance.

"If it wasn't for her in that first game, where would we be?" he said of his co-captain. "She's stepped up and taken a leadership role. She's been very steady."

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