Li­ons swept by War­riors in sec­tion semis

Record Observer - - SPORTS - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — Josie Stock­man to Myia Jeter for a kill.

While that wasn’t the only com­bi­na­tion work­ing for Eas­ton High’s vol­ley­ball team Mon­day evening, it was def­i­nitely the most em­phatic.

Bat­tling through a rough start, the War­riors swept Queen Anne’s County, 2522, 25-15, 25-16, to reach the Class 2A East Sec­tion II fi­nal.

Queen Anne’s, which ousted North Caro­line,

3-2, in last Fri­day’s quar­ter­fi­nal round, fin­ished its sea­son at 9-7.

Queen Anne’s jumped ahead 11-5 in the first game be­fore Eas­ton pulled ahead on serv­ing runs by Kate Chap­ple and Emily Grif­fith. A kill by Ashanti Stan­ley off a pass by Jeter put the War­riors ahead

21-17. Ben­e­fit­ting from Eas­ton mis­cues, Queen Anne’s ral­lied, win­ning five of the next six points to tie the game at 22-22.

Ha­ley Stallings de­liv­ered an ace and Caitlin Pfeif­fer tipped a win­ner at the net dur­ing the game-ty­ing streak. Eas­ton, though, won the fi­nal three points be­gin­ning with a serv­ing er­ror by the Li­ons. Jeter as­sisted on a left-side kill by Jade Wil­liams and Grif­fith scored with a mid­dle-hit to an open spot to close the game.

“We started very, very slow,” War­riors head coach Jen Pow­ell said. She at­trib­uted the turn­around to “get­ting them to­gether on a time­out and talk­ing about it, and stay­ing on them con­sis­tently about their en­ergy, and mak­ing sure they stay up and not just lull through ev­ery­thing.”

Queen Anne’s fought its way to a 7-4 lead in Game

2, only to see its ad­van­tage evap­o­rate. The Li­ons com­mit­ted a two-hit vi­o­la­tion and mis­placed a servere­ceive to tie the game at

8-8. Eas­ton went ahead to stay at 10-9 on a Li­ons hit­ting er­ror. Queen Anne’s stayed close, trail­ing 1513, be­fore a 7-0 run by the War­riors, who started click­ing with their at­tack.

“We make ad­just­ments as we go,” Pow­ell said. “If we see some­thing that we need to change and fix, the girls do a re­ally good job of do­ing that. And as the games went on, ob­vi­ously there was so much more hus­tle to­ward the end that re­ally kept us go­ing.”

Jeter scored with a twohan­der deep into a cor­ner and fol­lowed that with con­sec­u­tive mid­dle-hit kills off sets from Stock­man to put Eas­ton up 18-13 in Game 2. Stock­man served an ace, Jeter popped the ball into the net and down for a win­ner, and the Li­ons failed to re­turn serve to make it 21-13. Chap­ple fin­ished the seven-point run with a first-hit tipped win­ner. Grif­fith later scored with a mid­dle-hit off a pass from Jeter and the Li­ons sent a vol­ley into the net to end the game.

“I think we did start off a lit­tle bit slow,” Chap­ple said. “I think we walked in think­ing that we had it but then kind of re­al­ized that they had noth­ing to lose. … We were play­ing scared, think­ing that our hits weren’t go­ing to go down, so we stopped play­ing scared, we started get­ting our hits down.”

Queen Anne’s stayed in con­tention early in Game

3. A mid­dle-hit win­ner by Mad­die Tisher, points from Pfeif­fer via a block and a back-line kill, and a Tay­lor Walls kill helped the Li­ons close within

10-9. But, like Game 2, Eas­ton then took con­trol with an­other 7-0 run. Jeter de­liv­ered a kill off a pass from Stock­man for side­out be­fore Wil­liams served for six straight points, start­ing with an ace.

Back-to-back blasts by Jeter off feeds from Stock­man made it 14-9. Af­ter hus­tling de­fense by her team­mates to re­turn a ball that had sailed well off the court, Jeter scored with an over-the-head bump to an open spot much to the de­light of the War­riors fans. A hit­ting er­ror by the Li­ons and a first-hit slam by Jeter off an er­rant servere­ceive made it 17-9 and Eas­ton main­tained a large lead the rest of the game.

“The past two times we’ve faced them we’ve had a lot of back-and-forth mo­men­tum shifts,” Li­ons head coach Kim Betts said. “We’d be on top and then we’d give away con­sec­u­tive points and lose mo­men­tum. But they hus­tle. They def­i­nitely out­hus­tled us. They were all over the court. They had great ball pur­suit.

“My girls had some good runs,” Betts added. “They did some good things. We had some big digs tonight which I was proud of. But we def­i­nitely had a break­down in com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

Queen Anne’s, which won the North Bay­side in 2017, was largely in­ex­pe­ri­enced this sea­son. The Li­ons will lose two se­niors (Stallings and Aryelle Miles) and will look to im­prove next year as their play­ers con­tinue to gain ex­pe­ri­ence.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHO­TOS BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Eas­ton High’s Jade Wil­liams, left, fol­lows through on a front-line hit into a block at­tempt by Queen Anne’s on Mon­day evening.

Eas­ton High’s Emily Grif­fith (17) de­liv­ers a front-line hit as Queen Anne’s Tay­lor Walls at­tempts a block Mon­day evening.

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