(2008 - 2009) - Volleyball - Varsity

vs. Hillcrest WIN: 25-22, 23-25,v25-22,19-25,15-8,

Date: Oct. 07, 2008
Time: 06:30 PM
Location: Mauldin High School

Mauldin Ends Losing Streak versus Rival - Defeats Hillcrest in 5 - 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-8

Gwinn Davis Photo



 Read the Greenville News Article

See Video Highlights of the game

On a cool and cloudy early October evening The Mauldin High Varsity
Volleyball team had a chance to do something that hadnt been done in seven
long years...  Legendary High School Volleyball Coach Lynn Avant brought
her young but 6th state ranked Hillcrest Lady Rams team to Mauldin to
protect their perfect 2008 4A Region 2 record and extend their winning
streak over their crosstown and heated rivals, the Mauldin lady Maverick
Volleyball team, to 15 matches over a 7 year span.  It was evident before
the 6:30 gametime that this was not going to be an ordinary evening.  The
Jayvee Mav netters defeated the Junior Rams in an exciting 3 game match
that ran long as well over a hundred fans looked on.  A hundred more poured
into the gym by 7:00 pm in eager anticipation of the marquee match-up, the
rivalry game, the biggest match of the season to date for both teams.  The
crowd was on edge and ready for action as Game 1 got underway.  After 2
hard and quick kills by Senior captain Rachel Woodlee set up by Senior
Setter Haley Register, Mauldin took a 2-0 lead and had their legion of
loyal fans noisily behind them.  The Lady Rams got their legs under them
quickly enough and fought back to even the score and take a several point
lead until Mauldin made a run which included Kills by Junior  Melissa
Unger, Senior Alex Evans, and senior co-captain Jordan Bowling to tie the
score at 10.  A Woodlee block and a Bowling Ace shortly thereafter  put the
Lady Mavs up 15-14.  Then Talented Hillcrest Freshman Outside Hitter Kylie
Haun went on a 6 point service run for the Rams that included an Ace and
was stopped only by a foot fault at the service line on the 7th point put
the Ladies in Black and red in front with a seemingly comfortable lead
coming into the stretch run.  But the Lady Mavs dug in with great defensive
effort and court coverage against the disciplined Hillcrest attack.
Sophomores Dana Landers and Heather Granger had diving digs in the
backcourt and Granger added a kill before Junior setter Kimberly Minor
served three straight Aces to bring the Ladies in Orange and white back to
within a point at 20-21.  The noise from the excited crowd was such that
the referees couldnt hear themselves nor the coaches and the benches and
scorers table couldnt hear the referees.  Once again for the talented but
inconsistent lady Mav Netters it was crunch time or nail biting time
depending on whether you were in uniform or not.  The next few points were
won on defense as Landers and Bowling made passing digs out of the
Hillcrest attacks, keeping the ball in play and uncharacteristically
allowing or forcing the opponent to make errors.  Hillcrest obliged after
several long rallies and well played points and Mauldin had the lead 23-22.
A Point later senior Jordan Bowling was at the service line and ended game
One with an Ace off the net tape, 25-22.
      Game Two started the way the first one ended, with the Ram and
Maverick netters exchanging points, errors, and service. The play was
neither textbook crisp nor sandlot sloppy.  Long Rallies and points drew
gasps and cheers from both sides of the gym as the partisan crowds cheered
their school teams and daughters. Junior Hitter Jordan Stovall got into the
action early in game two with 2 kills off sets from friend and teammate
Haley Register. Minutes later an Ace by Kim Minor put the Mavs in front
7-5.  The teams played hard - back and forth - attack and defend - squeaks,
grunts, dives, encouragement, and brief congratulations traded sides of the
net as neither team wanted to give in to the rival.  The score knotted at
10, 12, then 15 until a long rally which included two Woodlee digs ended
with a Stovall spike put the Mavs in front 16-15. An Unger Kill off a
Hillcrest Overpass re-knotted the game at 20. Then a Granger Kill from a
Minor set levelled the game at 22.  Finally a 3 point run which included
powerful Kills by Hillcrest Hitter Rebecca Young, sealed the game for the
Lady Rams 23-25.
      At the crossover break before the third game, the frenzied young
student fans hurled jeers and chants at their couterparts while the older
fans stretched their backs and legs before settling in for what looked like
would be a lengthy and grueling match.  With the match tied at a game
apiece and the score knotted at 2 points per team, promising Hillcrest
Freshman Haun served two Aces in a 3 point run to put the rams in front
2-5.  But the determined lady Mavs dug in with sophomore Libero Landers
pacing the defense and starting the attack with crisp passing, Minor set
Bowling for a Kill and Alex Evans for 2 more to see the Mav netters take an
11-7 lead.  Mauldin's finest kept up the attack and seemed to take control
of the game when Captains Bowling and Woodlee slammed successive Kills to
the Hillcrest side of the court to take a 15-10 advantage.  Granger
followed with an Ace then Stovall and Woodlee scored on blocks of Hillcrest
attacks to extend the lead to a commanding 17-10.  Hillcrest Libero Kimmy
Swoap then elevated the play of the Hillcrest defense with fine digs and
passes to the Hillcrest offense who forced errors onto the Mauldin side and
the Lady Rams roared back to within 4 points at 22-18. Junior setter Kim
Minor placed good sets in front of Bowling and Granger on successive points
to reach game-point, but Hillcrest's Rebecca Young went on a 4 point
service run which included an Ace to bring the Rams back to 24-22. Minor
then passed to Woodlee who found an open spot on the hillcrest frontcourt
for a placement Kill to end the game at 25-22.
      Mauldin looked loose and confident going into the fourth game - a
tribute to their cool and collected coach, Christy Plecha who used
strategic timeouts throughout the match to re-focus and motivate her team.
By contrast, the fiery former State champion Avant had terse words for her
charges at the crossover before the buzzer started Game 4.  Hillcrest came
out less prone to mistakes and took an early lead, but Mauldin's lady Mav
netters came back behind a Minor ace, a granger Kill, and a Woodlee block
to take the lead 11-10 near the midpoint.  Hillcrest displayed their
potential and hid their youthful inexperience in the fourth game by playing
disciplined defense and staying on the attack - more efficient than
powerful, but nonetheless effective.  Hillcrest's Haun went on another 4
point service run, aided by kills from Young and the Mavs were down 15-20
heading into the stretch.  Mauldin Libero Landers made a great reaching dig
off a powerful hit by Young that changed from an overpass to a Kill when it
found open court  at Hillcrest's 10 foot line.  Mauldin's Lefty hitter
Evans then hammered a Kill off a Minor set and Woodlee added a scoring
block to close the gap to 19-23 before the Lady Rams stopped the Maverick
run and finish the game 19-25.
      The stage was now set.  On the court were two accomplished and
valiant teams - not a brow was dry as the netters on both sides of the
court  resembled flush and determined athlete-warriors moreso than glowing
schoolgirls they had been only a handful of hours before. Which team wanted
to be the first to score the final 15 points more?  Was it the disciplined,
systematic, undefeated and favored Lady Rams from neighboring Simpsonville
... or the loose, athletic, hustling, excitable but inconsistent Lady Mavs
of Mauldin ?  At the start of game 5 it seemed clear that the Lady Mavs had
more left in their tanks as they elevated their play to the crescendo of
the partisan crowd in the middle and south ends of the Mauldin Gym
bleachers.  2 quick and decisive Woodlee kills put the Lady Mavs up 2-0,
then after several exchanges, Stovall took a set from Register to the
Hillcrest floor to make it 4-1 and send Mauldin's powerful server, Granger
to the line.  Bowling was next in line for a Register set and made it 6-1
... and she Killed a Hillcrest overpass to make it 8-1 for an encore during
a 5 point Granger service run. Hillcrest caught its collective breath and
fought back by forcing Mauldin errors with a pressuring attack to make the
score 11-7.  Then the wrongsided Senior blond closer killed a Minor set to
end the Hillcrest run 12-8. A Granger block found the floor for a score the
Unger matched the feat to make it 14-8.  Junior Kim Minor was at the
service line for this run to end a sad recent history  for Mauldin
volleyball against Hillcrest and she lifted the set to Granger that sealed
the long awaited match victory at  15-8.    Call the Mauldin Alumni from
the lean years and the 2 coaches who never tasted a volleyball victory over
Hillcrest...the streak has ended !  It may still be too early to utter such
words, and the Mauldin Lady Mav Netters still have more to prove and other
giants to slay before they write much more history, but this match, on this
chilly October night, proved to Mauldin's team and fans that they indeed
have the potential and a great opportunity to be a special team in the
annals of Mauldin Volleyball.
      Come see if our lady Mavs can rewrite more scripts and score another
upset of a favored region foe - #1 state ranked Dorman, at home in Mauldin
at 6:30 pm on Thursday October 9th.



R. Woodlee  28      187         2              72            46

D. Landers    3        24        14                -           316

K. Minor       23        5        229               -             57

H. Register   8                  248               -              51

J.Bowling   27      136         5              23             98

H. Granger  37      71          6               17             68

J. Stovall       4      89        19              27              48

A. Evans    1         85          8              27               21

T. Smith    2           5           2                -                66

M. Unger    6        30          2               20               17

M. Gregg    2           4         3                2                  5

K. Whitten  -           -           8                -                  3

MATCH RECORD:  18  Wins         6 Losses

GAME RECORD     46  Wins       21 Losses

REGION RECORD   3  Wins         2  Losses