(2009 - 2010) - Volleyball - Varsity

Date: Aug. 29, 2009
Time: 08:30 AM

GIRLS WIN CAROLINA FOREST TOURNAMENT- Come see them take on Riverside and Eastside at Mauldin - Tuesday night @ 5:30 PM.


While the Maverick football team was beating up rival Hillcrest High on a soggy gridiron 46-19, the Lady Mavs Volleyball team was travelling to Myrtle Beach to Participate in the Carolina Forest Panther Invitational Volleyball tournament. In spite of a flat tire on the bus en route, Coaches Christie and Carly Plecha got their team to Myrtle Beach, fed and settled in a hotel before a big day of competitive volleyball. The coaches had to wonder which version of their young team would show up Saturday morning - the error prone team that dropped 3 of 5 shortened games to Southside Christian in their first pre-season scrimmage, or the dominant attacking team that drubbed the Westside Rams in three straight games during their second pre-season contest ? The answer would be forthcoming at 9:00 the following morning ...

First up in Pool C of the 2009 Lady Mav netters would be the Warriors of Spartanburg Christian in the hot old gym at Carolina Forest High School. The Warriors showed that despite a lack of height, they were a good defensive, well coached, and disciplined team. The Lady Mavs took the opening game, and dropped the second. It took 8 extra points in the third and final game of the match for the Warriors to win the match. The Lady Mavs got excellent defense from Dana Landers (19 digs) and Chloe Ewing. Captains Heather Grainger (10 Kills and 6 digs) and Jordan Stovall (3 kills and 9 digs) led the offense with help and good serving from setters Kim Minor (11 assists and 2 Aces) and Kayla Whitten (6 assists and 3 Aces), ...but it was not enough to overcome too many errors on the White and Orange side of the court. The Lady Mavs would have to dig deeper to emerge from Pool Play to make it into the top 8 teams seeded in the afternoon's Championship Bracket.

Game 1 - Mauldin 25 - Spartanburg Christian 18

Game 2 - Spartanburg Christian 25 - Mauldin 15

Game 3 - Spartanburg Christian 20 - Mauldin 18

Next up in Pool play was the Warriors from nearby Waccammow High. In spite of an Imposingly tall center-front player, the Lady Mavs showed that they were the better team in winning three straight games without being pushed. More impressive was the way they rebounded from the earlier match loss. They showed great composure, court savvy, and teamwork while hammering the young Warrior team. Minor and Whitten distributed sets around the court to six lady Mavs who recorded scoring kills... including Sophomore Laura Woodlee (4 kills, 1 block), Grainger (4 kills, 1 Ace, 3 Digs), Stovall (3 Kills, 1 Ace, 1 Dig), and Christina Brown (3 kills).

Excellent serving was also contributed by Whitten (4 Aces) and Senior Melissa Unger (4 aces, 2 kills, 2 Blocks). Providing great help to Landers and granger on the defense was Junior Emily Cooper who came off the bench hot and contributed 5 digs.

Game 1 - Mauldin 25 - Waccammow 13

Game 2 - Mauldin 25 - Waccammow 16

Game 3 - Mauldin 15 - Waccammow 5

Then came the test ! The Myrtle Beach Seahawks had not lost a match and only one game. The versatile ladies in Green were in the Pool C driver's seat. Unless the Lady Mavs could win this match, they would be on their way home after lunch without a spot in bracket play ! Mauldin came out determined in the first game and pounded the Seahawks 25-11, but the ladies from Myrtle Beach also knew what was at stake (though the consequences were less dire for the Seahawks) and played inspired in the second game and prevailed in a close one 22-25. The Lady Mavs proved resilient again however and overcame a spate of 2nd game errors to take the third and final game of the match 15-8. Kim Minor (5 assists, 4 digs) and Kayla Whitten (6 assists, 2 digs) paced the attack in this match, distributing the rock to 6 hitters who all had a pair of kills or better (Stovall, Grainger, Brown, Unger, Woodlee, and Sophomore Katie Faith, who added a block and two digs to her pair of Kills). Defensively Brandi Cessarich stepped up and helped Landers (15 digs) with 3 of her 4 digs in the critical 3rd game. Grainger and Landers each added a pair of Aces to bolster the Lady Mavs scoring.

Game 1 - Mauldin 25 - Myrtle Beach 11

Game 2 - Myrtle Beach 25 - Mauldin 22

Game 3 - Mauldin 15 - Myrtle Beach 8

The excellent play and result against the Seahawks threw the Pool C standings and Tournament officials for a loop. Pool C had 3 teams (Mauldin, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg Christian) with identical match records of 2-1 and identical game records at 6-3. At least the Lady Mavs could enjoy some lunch, organized by Sharron Faith, knowing they would be in the championship bracket. What the coaches, team, and Mauldin faithful could not understand or explain was the labyrinthine system of seeding. It computed total points and point differentials...and inexplicably took 75 minutes to complete...but by 3:00 pm, 4 unfortunate teams headed home and the Lady Mavs found themselves bracketed in the second seed position !

Thus the Lady Mav netters would wait through another pair of games before facing the #7 seeded Christ Church Crusaders, also from Greenville County. The Crusaders appeared neither huge nor small, but their game was defense and teamwork - a combination that often frustrates the young, athletic, and impatient Lady Mavs. Add to that a fatiguing and possibly overconfident team after a long layover that included food and horseplay, and the stage was set for a letdown. It didnt take long for the coaches fears to materialize. The Crusaders kept the ball in play and awaited Mauldin mistakes that came too frequently in the opening quarterfinal game.

Overpasses, Shanks, Setting, Serving, and Hitting errors from the Orange side gave the ladies in Colombia Blue the first game 20-25. The lady Mavs were down early in the second game too when Coach Plecha made lineup changes and maximized the uses of her timeouts attempting to right the ship. Credit the coaches, the resiliency and determination of this young lady Mavs team - they fought back from behind and pulled out the second game 25-21. The rubber game also went to the improving and better concentrating Mauldin netters as they avoided a scare and upset to move to the semi-finals against another dangerous team - nemesis and 3rd seeded Boiling Springs ! Players of this nailbiter of a match against Christ Church were Captain Jordan Stovall (4 aces, 4 kills, 1 Block, 6 Digs) and Katie Faith ( 3 Aces, 5 kills, 6 Digs). Kayla Whitten lifted a match high 13 assists, Captain Heather Grainger had 5 Kills, and Emily Cooper rescued a troubled defense with 8 Digs and an assist. Chloe Ewing pitched in 4 digs and Christina Brown added a pair of kills and a block.

Game 1 - Christ Church 25 - Mauldin 20

Game 2 - Mauldin 25 - Christ Church 21

Game 3 - Mauldin 15 - Christ Church 11

Whew ! Into the Semi-finals ! Hopefully the scare against the Crusaders would be just what the Young Lady Mavs needed to steel their nerves and ratchet up their play to the next level of consistency...or maybe not !? The Bulldogs of Boiling Springs posed a different kind of challenge. Two tall, lanky, and athletic hitters paced the Bulldogs. The leapers both possessed quickness and Power that would put pressure on the Mauldin block and defense. In the early going the Lady Mavs saw more than they wanted of #1 and #4 in black as they got down by 7 points, 5-12. But again the fortitude and no-quit attitude of the lady Mavs kicked in and prevailed as the Maverick netters took the first game. Credit the Boiling Springs coach and team - at the changeover they took a stern speech on the chin and came out firing in the second game. At two points they held a 10 point lead 5-15 and 7-17 ! Mauldin errors had come back in droves at the worst possible time. Again the sister duo of Christie and Carly Plecha went to work during timeouts and substitutions - encouraging and blistering as necessary, determined to get the best from their team....and it started to work. Better defense pressured the lady Bulldogs into mistakes. Soon the game was in the 20s and the Mavs were only down by 3, but on the brink. Mauldin would prevail 28-26 in extra points, behind great efforts by Laura Woodlee (6 Kills, 1 block, 1 dig), Dana Landers (15 digs, 2 Aces, 1 assist), Melissa Unger (5 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces), Kayla Whitten ( 14 Assists, 5 digs), Katie Faith ( 3 Aces, 2 Blocks, 1 kill, 1 Assist, 1 dig), Emily Cooper (5 digs), and the captains - Stovall (2 Aces, 4 Kills, 3 digs) and Grainger ( 2 Aces, 3 Kills, 2 Digs, 1 assist, 1 block).

Game 1 - Mauldin 25 - Boiling Springs 21

Game 2 - Mauldin 28 - Boiling Springs 26

The finals ! After the emotional and physical toll that 5 matches and especially the last two had taken on the Lady Mav netters, only one match remained. It was dinnertime but the prize was before them. In the way would stand the only team who had taken a match from the Lady Mavs in the panther invitational tournament...the team that had defeated the top seed to earn their place in these finals - The Spartanburg Christian Warriors, with their well coached, error free, and disciplined play. As the officials re-set the gym for the championship game, Coach "P" talked to her tired team as they re-hydrated and nibbled on sweet, salty, or fruity snacks. This reported knows not what was said, but it must have been good...or maybe it didnt have to be and the Lady Mavs inherently understood what they needed to do and steeled themselves to do it ! Whichever was the case, Kayla Whitten (3 Aces, 7 Assists), Jordan Stovall (2 aces, 6 Kills, 11 digs, 2 Blocks), and Dana Landers (12 Digs, 1 kill, 1 Assist) paced the team in the first game which Mauldin won convincingly 25-15. In the second game fresh legs and attitudes took the court and were equally convincing ... Kim Minor dished 11 assists to the hot swings of Heather Grainger ( 4 Kills, 2 aces, 2 digs, 1 block) and Laura Woodlee (5 kills, 2 Blocks). The second game defense was led by Emily Cooper (3 digs) Chelsea Scott (2 digs , 1 assist), Melissa Unger (2 Blocks, 1 Ace, 3 kills), Katie Faith (2 Blocks, 1 kill, 1 Ace, 2 digs), and Brandi Cessarich (2 digs). Once again teamwork and patient persistence paid off for the Lady Mavs in the second game. Fresh legs picked up for tired ones and the Mav Netters played determined and near flawlessly in this match. Fittingly and deservedly they won the championship over a tired but very game Spartanburg Christian team. After 16 games - some great, some flawed the Mauldin Volleyballers got to know each other on the court, what is inside of themselves, and what they can achieve together - As a team of champions on this late August weekend !

Game 1 - Mauldin 25 - Spartanburg Christian 15

Game 2 - Mauldin 25 - Spartanburg Christian 19

At the awards ceremony proud parents and weary volleyball players cheered as Mauldin's Coach Christie Plecha accepted the Championship Trophy. Kayla Whitten was named to the Panther Invitational All-Touurnament team and Jordan Stovall was named the tournament MVP. Congratulations to these two very deserving ladies for their individual honors and to the whole Lady Maverick 2009 Volleyball team for your Tournament Championship - We are very proud of you and are looking for big things this season because we now KNOW you have what it takes and can do it !

Next up for the Lady Mavs after a weekend of rest is a tri-match at Home on the Mauldin Campus Tuesday September 1st with Riverside and Eastside high starting at approximately 5:30 pm. Come support our "Champion" Lady Mav 2009 Varsity Volleyball team Tuesday night as they open their regular season and non-region schedule at home with a pair of matches against a pair of very accomplished traditional powers and local 3A opponents. GO LADY MAVS !!!








Landers, Dana 69 3 1 0 0 65
Whitten, Kayla 68 12 0 49 0 7
Stovall, Jordan 57 9 29 0 1 18
Granger, Heather 54 5 23 0 0 26
Minor, Kimberly 34 1 0 28 0 5
Ungar, Melissa 31 5 15 0 0 11
Faith, Katie 25 6 10 0 0 9
Woodlee, Laura 19 0 18 1 0 0
Cooper, Emily 14 0 1 0 0 13
Brown, Kristina 9 0 7 0 0 2
Cessarich, Brandy 7 0 0 0 0 7
Ewing, Chloe 5 0 0 0 0 5
Scott, Chelsey 1 0 0 0 0 1