Pan­thers es­cape Ea­gles in play­off thriller

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— The first four sets were not enough to de­ter­mine a win­ner.

While the score was tied at 2 as Per­ryville and Bo­hemia Manor headed to a de­ci­sive Game 5, each of the pre­vi­ous four sets had been de­cided by at least six points. The fifth game would be very dif­fer­ent.

The Pan­thers scored the first three points. The Ea­gles an­swered with the next three.

Per­ryville led the set 5-3 and 6-4, but Bo­hemia Manor scored three straight points to re­claim a 7-6 ad­van­tage. Pan­thers coach Matt Bor­relli called time­out.

Fol­low­ing the break came the long­est vol­ley of the night. Af­ter sev­eral min­utes and a hand­ful of im­prob­a­ble plays from both teams to keep the ball alive, Per­ryville earned the point to tie the set at 7.

PER­RYVILLE

“As that was go­ing on, in my mind I was think­ing ‘Who­ever takes this play is prob­a­bly go­ing to win the match,’” Bor­relli said. “There were so many great plays on both sides of the net, I just thought who­ever won that play would have the mo­men­tum and it would prob­a­bly cary them un­til the end. But then it went all the way to 15-13, so it was still tight all the way to the end.”

The Pan­thers took the lead on the next point and won the set, 15-13, to take the match 3-2.

Per­ryville never sur­ren­dered the lead once it went on top, 8-7, but there were five more ties be­fore the Pan­thers won the set.

“That was the type of game where both teams de­serve to win — it’s a shame that one team had to win and one team had to lose,” Bor­relli said. “I think both teams def­i­nitely de­serve to win.”

The Ea­gles won the first game, 25-19. Per­ryville took the next two by scores of 25-13 and 25-19, re­spec­tively, to put Bo Manor on the brink of elim­i­na­tion from the 1A East Re­gion Vol­ley­ball Tour­na­ment.

Trail­ing 6-5, De­laney Mi­dash served four straight points that put the Ea­gles ahead for good in the fourth set. They won 25-14 to force the de­ci­sive fifth game.

“I told them to let the emo­tion ride, but don’t let it over­rule you. I think they played with their hearts,” Bo Manor coach Sab­rina Larmer said. “They knew it wasn’t over. They just kind of picked each other up and they knew what they had to do. We had a game plan and they stuck to it and I think that’s what helped up get back into the fifth set.”

Per­ryville se­nior Gabby Good­now, who recorded 15 kills, three blocks and three digs on the night, said let­ting go of the fourth set was key to win­ning the fifth.

“I think you re­ally have to for­get your mis­takes be­cause it’s hard to move on if you keep dwelling on past mis­takes,” she said. “We’re a strong team but they re­ally gave us ev­ery­thing we could han­dle tonight.”

It was the first time Per­ryville has played five games in the past two sea­sons.

“That’s not the way you want to win in five, to lose the first and fourth. That’s re­ally odd. That’s kind of a roller coaster,” Bor­relli said. “We haven’t played a fifth set in two sea­sons, so it’s not some­thing that we’ve had ex­pe­ri­ence with the last cou­ple of sea­sons. But credit to our girls, I think our ex­pe­ri­ence and our con­ti­nu­ity as a team re­ally paid off. A lot of heart, a lot of hus­tle out on the court, I think that’s what re­ally helped us in the fifth set.”

The Ce­cil County ri­vals met in the first game of the sea­son, a 3-1 win for Per­ryville. Bor­relli and Good­now each com­pli­mented how much Bo Manor had im­proved since then. The Pan­thers win Wed­nes­day also marked the fifth-straight year that they have elim­i­nated the Ea­gles from the post­sea­son.

“That’s the best I’ve seen them play in years. Sab­rina does a great job get­ting them pre­pared,” Bor­relli said. “Their block­ing was fan­tas­tic. They kind of shut down Gabby and Teri [Wen­ner­sten] at times. It was just a great game and my hat’s off to Bo Manor. They played their hearts out and they should be proud of how they played.”

Per­ryville ad­vances to host North Dorch­ester in the East Re­gion Final at 5 p.m. Fri­day.

“We def­i­nitely wanted to walk out of here with a win and we walked in think­ing that we would. We worked so hard and I just told them that if we had to walk out of here with a loss tonight, that’s how I wanted to leave — with a fight. I think they ac­com­plished that. They fought for ev­ery­thing,” Larmer said. “It just hap­pened to go in Per­ryville’s fa­vor again this year.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Per­ryville cel­e­brates af­ter de­feat­ing vis­it­ing Bo­hemia Manor 3-2 in the 1A East Re­gion Sec­tion I Vol­ley­ball Final on Wed­nes­day.

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