(2009 - 2010) - Volleyball - Varsity

vs. Loss Byrnes - 20-25, 25-21, 15-25, 19-25,

Date: Oct. 01, 2009
Time: 06:30 PM
Location: Mauldin High School


      On Thursday evening the Defending 4A  State Volleyball Champions, the
Byrnes High Lady Rebels came to Mauldin for a Region matchup of 2010
playoff hopeful teams.  The Lady Mavs were still stinging from their
unexpected loss at the hands of Boiling Springs and Byrnes was still giddy
over their 5 game defeat of Hillcrest last week.
      Game 1 was a close back and forth affair with neither team proving
able to overcome the other's attacks.  Early jitters manifested themselves
from both sides as serveouts and shanks until Senior Christina Brown killed
a set by Senior Kim Minor, followed by a block point by Sophomore Laura
Woodlee to make it 4-5.  Senior Co-Captain Jordan Stovall spiked a set by
Sophomore Kayla Whitten to tie the score at 5 before Sophomore Katie faith
got hot with back to back kill points off sets from Whitten.  Then the
defenses went to work - Stovall, Junior Libero Dana Landers, and Junior
D.S. Chloe Ewing combined for 14 first game digs to keep rallies alive.
The longer rallies seemed to favor the Byrnes attach however and the lady
Mavs were down 11-15 after an Ace by Senior Melissa Unger.  Brown, Stovall,
Faith, and Junior co-captain Heather Granger hammerred spike from their
setters over the next 10 points to keep the game within reach at 16-21.
Faith and Stovall nailed Whitten sets to the floor heading into the stretch
to bring Mauldin within three at 20-23.  At this point a well disguised and
previously unnaccounted for opponent on the court failed to overrule a poor
out call made by a JV Byrnes team member who was 15 more feet away from the
sideline than the down ref on a Landers overhead. Next, on a Stovall smash
from the left side, the same ref failed to notice the sound or the ball
flight change caused by an obvious tip from the Byrnes side of the net in
an attempted block only 3 feet in front of him ! - the ball sailed out but
the point and game was awarded to Byrnes 20-25.  We cant be sure this game
would have been won by the Lady Mavs, but it was ended when the score
should have read 22-23 !
      In Game 2 the Mauldin Varsity netters came out mad and determined.
Their intensity matched the anger of the usually taciturn but now
vociferous Mauldin fans.  The setters and hitters for the lady Mavs were in
sync and in rhythm.  Unger recorded a Kill and an Ace in the early going.
Brown, Woodlee, Faith and Granger followed. Stovall added a kill and an
Ace.  Mauldin was playing outstanding volleyball but the stubborn and
disciplined defense of Byrnes wouldnt succumb.  Mauldin's defense was
similarly up to the task as Landers, Granger, and Minor combined for 18
second game Digs.  After another pair of spike points from Unger, one from
Stovall and a successive kill and block by Woodlee, the score was knotted
at 17 !  Stovall slapped an Ace at Byrnes, Granger killed a set by Whitten,
Unger blocked a Byrnes attack to the floor, and Minor added an Ace and
Mauldin retook the lead against the unflappable Lady Rebels 22-20.  The
Lady Mavs co-captains Granger and Stovall brought it home by pounding
unreturnable spikes off of Minor sets to finish this excellent and
furiously played game 25-21.
      Game 3 was a different story !  It appeared to be Byrnes who had the
spark and greater intensity with the match tied at a game apiece.  Errors
in the form of mis-hits and shanks from the ladies in White and Orange
spotted the Royal Blue clad Lady Rebels to a 7 point advantage 4-1, before
Stovall and Woodlee mashed kills to the floor with assistance from Minor.
A Landers overhead off a saving set from Faith brought the score to 7-13.
It wouldnt get any closer than 6 points in spite of Kills from Granger
(9-15) and Stovall (11-17).  Both teams kept up the offensive pressure and
both played excellent defense the rest of the way.  In spite of hustling,
diving, and scrambling by Mauldin's Landers, Granger, Ewing, and Stovall to
keep long rallies alive, most often the lady Mavs came out on the wrong end
of these rallies as the Byrnes attack was relentless and effective.  Byrnes
took Game 3 convincingly 15-25.
      Game 4 took on a greater sense of urgency for the Lady Mavs even
though Byrnes started off with momentum and confidence from the lopsided
finish to game 3.  The Lady Mavs climbed back from a 3 point early deficit
to tie the game at 7 after Stovall and Woodlee killed Whitten sets and
Stovall added an Ace from the service line.  Faith and Granger added spike
points from Whitten assists and Mauldin took the lead 9-8.  Another
questionable call re-tied the game 9-9, and it was back to the exciting but
uncomfortably familiar long rallies.  Landers, Granger, and Whitten were
stalwart from the back row in game 3, raising 17 digs and keeping the Lady
Mavs alive in the face of constant pressure from the defending state champs
attack.  Heading into the stretch, Woodlee killed a Minor set to make it
15-14, then amazingly, Byrnes kept a volley alive for 6 hits when it wasnt
noticed that an attack didnt go over the net.  After a faith kill from
Whitten and 2 other sideout points later, a similar non-call cost Mauldin a
point after a 4 or 5 hit volley on the Byrnes side. In spite of the
increasing difficulty of overcoming two opponents, Mauldin was only down
17-18 and playing well enough to be up 19-16 !  more furious and long
rallies ensued and Byrnes displayed their outstanding block and filling
defense.  After a Brown kill from Minor made it 19-22, Mauldin mis-hits and
shanks doomed the Lady Mavs down the stretch and they dropped Game 4 and
the match 19-25. The lady Mavs played valiantly and well against the 7th
ranked 4A team in the state ...but not good enough to overcome both a very
fine Lady Rebels team and poor officiating simultaneously.  Again, there is
no guarantee that the Lady Mavs would have parlayed the erroneous 4 point
swing into a Game 4 victory  if the calls had been made as they should have
been - Byrnes is still an excellent team, and in fairness there were some
equally erroneous though not as obvious non-calls in Mauldin's favor in
games 2 and 3, but the angry coaches, fans, and parents certainly wanted to
think that game 1 or 4 would have turned out differently, forcing a 5th and
decisive game. The Lady Mavs might have a re-match against Byrnes at this
weekend's Southside Christian Invitational tournament and certainly will at
Byrnes on October 20th.  Next up for the Lady Mavs is arch-rival Hillcrest
in Simpsonville at 6:30 pm on Tuesday October 6th.  Go Mavs !!!

      Game 1:  Mauldin 20  -  Byrnes 25
      Game 2:  Mauldin 25  -  Byrnes 21
      Game 3:  Mauldin 15  -  Byrnes 25
      Game 4:  Mauldin 19  -  Byrnes 25