(2008 - 2009) - Volleyball - Varsity

vs. Wren - 4A PLAY0FFS ROUND 1 - WIN 25-13 25-11 25-23,

Date: Oct. 28, 2008
Time: 06:00 PM
Location: Mauldin High School


See Gwinn Davis' pictures from Senior night and the season - click on Rivalry Heats Up






On Sunday of this week, Mauldin Sophomore Libero Dana Landers examined the State playoff brackets and announced a 5 step "jewelry acquisition plan" to her father.  Whether this was an athlete setting goals for herself and her team... or a teenage girl calculating how to acquire some "bling" is not altogether clear to this reporter.  At the beginning of this week, probably 400 young ladies from 32 of the state's 4A High School volleyball teams had similar dreams.  At the end of this night, half of those dreams would be dashed.

Tuesday Evening at Mauldin High, the state ranked #4 Varsity Lady Maverick Volleyball team played host to Region 1's 3rd place Golden Hurricanes of Wren High School in the first round of the District and Upstate tournament. After the team and coach introductions, Game 1 got underway a few minutes after 6:00 pm. Ten minutes later Mavs Captain Rachel "The Beast" Woodlee had smashed two hustling sets from Junior Outside Hitter Jordan Stovall to tie the score at 3 after a nervous start to the game by the ladies in Orange and White.   On her 18th birthday, Senior Alex Evans then Killed a Wren Overpass to give the Mavs the lead 4-3. Junior Kimberly Minor then laid a set in front of Junior Middle Blocker Melissa Unger who drove home a Kill to make it 5-3.  Wren scrambled back to re-tie the score at 6 with scrappy defense and enough offense to pressure the Lady Mavs into some mistakes.  When senior Co-Captain Jordan Bowling reached the service line at 7-6, she found a soft spot on the Hurricane back row and exploited it for 3 straight Aces to give the Lady Mav Netters the lead 10-6.  Future Wofford Terrier Netter Woodlee then asserted her will on the first game with two blocks and two Kills - one each off of assists from setters Haley register and Kimberly Minor to make it 15-9.  Minutes later, Sophomore sensation Heather Granger went on a 4 point service run to 20-10, which included 2 Granger Aces and a Block to the Wren floor by Jordan Stovall and a Bowling Kill of a Wren Overpass for points. The Lady Hurricanes in Royal Blue responded with a brief burst to make it 20-12, before Woodlee went on a 4 point service run to bring the Lady Mavs to game point before relinquishing the service. Sophomore Libero Dana Landers received the Wren service with a good pass to Register who set the rock in front of Erskine-bound Leaper Jordan Bowling who in turn, emphatically pounded it just beyond the Hurricane 10 foot line for the game-ending Kill of the first frame in favor of the Lady Mavs, 25-13.

Game two started less nervously and in Deja-Vu fashion with a Landers dig and pass to Register who set Bowling for a kill to start the scoring. The ladies from Wren appeared determined however, and answered with a block and an Ace to make it 1-2.  Stovall took an assist from Register crosscourt for a Kill a few minutes later to tie the score at 3. Bowling responded with a 3 point service run that saw great defense by Sophomores Landers and Granger of the Lady Mavs, thwart the Wren attack and the Lady Mavs were in front 6-3. After an exchange of sideouts, Junior setter Minor assisted the Birthday Girl (Evans) on a Kill that put the Mav Netters on top 7-5. Shortly thereafter, Minor shared setting assists with Woodlee who hammered two more Kills (of her team and match high 10) to make it 10-7. The feisty Hurricane defense showed no quit and bounced back with pressure of their own before Stovall and Granger put up blocks to make it 12-9. Unfortunately for Wren, the latter blocker Granger...the fire-haired serving sensation was about to toe the service line... Woe to the ladies from Wren who were to then receive the wrath of the hot Sophomore ! In a 10 point service run, Granger served 6 Aces (of a match and team high 8) and allowed teammates Register, Woodlee, and Stovall to contribute to her rally with assists and kills... and Evans with a scoring block .  When Granger finally put her 11th serve into the net the second game was securely in Mauldin's grasp 21-10.  Within minutes, the stunned and battered Hurricanes committed 3 errors to hand the games final points to the Lady Mavs.  Mavs wrap up game Two  25-11.

Feeling confident, the Lady Mavs began game 3 with a flourish that saw Register record the first two points on her service and after several rallies and side-outs, set Captains Woodlee and Bowling to put the Mav Netters in front 5-2.   Credit the young ladies from Wren however as "quit" is apparently not in their vocabulary...they rallied behind an Ace of Mauldin and a 4 point service run to knot the score at 7 and then 8.  Long rallies ensued in the crispest play of the evening by both teams with Mauldin Sophomores Landers and Granger doing Yeoman work from the backcourt with 10 and 7 digs respectively in the third frame alone ! The Mauldin attack unfortunately took a break until Senior Alex "Penguin" Evans Killed a Wren Overpass to make it 10-8.  but Wren fought back with an Ace and a block to re-knot the score at 10.  Mauldin got a lift from senior Morgan Gregg at this point who came in and recorded a block, a dig, and two Kills in the third game during furious play that saw the score see-saw and teeter to 13 and 14-all, before Bowling rocked a register set to make it 16-15. Minutes later, Register imitated her taller teammates and recorded a kill off a Wren overpass to make it 18-15.  Bowling smashed another kill with help from Register a few points later as the Lady mavs hit the stretch run with an uncomfortable lead over a determined opponent facing elimination 19-17.  Then off the bench came promising Freshman Kayla Whitten, recently promoted along with JV teammate Megan Archer to the Varsity for the playoff run,  Whitten served a point for the Mavs, made a diving dig and set junior Melissa Unger for a kill to make her presence felt and the Mavs were up 21-19. Sophomore Libero and "bling" hound Landers then set Bowling for a kill that made it 22-19.  Determined rallies followed as the Lady Hurricanes kept fighting to extend the match  - their sometimes unorthodox and sneaky attack pressured the Lady Mavs into errors and found open spots on the Mauldin side of the net and the score tightened to 23-22 and then 24-23 before senior Morgan Gregg made a frontline pass that was as good as any set for Woodlee who spiked it for the final point - game, set, and match Lady Mavericks 25-23. 

Sweet Sixteen !  It is the age of the Sophomores on the Lady Maverick volleyball team - player of the match Heather Granger ... and Libero, dreamer, and "bling hound" Landers mentioned in the opening.  More importantly and relevantly, it positions the Lady Mav volleyball team for their next step in the "drive for Five".  Mauldin advances to the second round of the state playoffs - the "district" championship most likely against the State #6 ranked Rock Hill Bearcats, who eliminated the Lady Mavs from the playoffs in the opening round only one year ago.  Revenge may be on the mind of the Lady Mavericks as they travel to Rock Hill on Thursday for the 6:00 pm match, but equally pressing is the need to stay focused on the goal of playing as a team -  smart, crisp, disciplined, and within their considerable abilities ... as preached consistently by Mauldin's most successful volleyball coach of this millennium - Christy Plecha, who has now guided this team beyond the finish position of the Mavs in her impressive debut season....but they are just getting started ! Good Luck Lady Mavs  - Keep up the great work - we are proud of and solidly behind you all ! 



R. Woodlee      37       275         3           101         69

D. Landers        4         28          20          -           458

H. Register      15         1           355         -           82

K.Minor           26         5           319         -           76

J.Bowling        38       187         7           33          135

H. Granger      49        88          10          22          104

J. Stovall         4        112         25          42          67

A. Evans         2        118         8           39          34

T. Smith          2          7           3           -           93

M. Unger         7         39          2           30          22

M. Gregg        2          7           4           5           11

K. Whitten  -              -           9           -           4

M. Archer   -               -           -           -           -