Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Mohigan volleyball sweeps tri against Bridgeport, Philip Barbour

It might be perfectly understandable if the Morgantown High volleyball team’s first opponent of their home tri-match on Tuesday night was the classic trap game.

After all, the highly-ranked Mohigans had already beaten their traditional rival Bridgeport five weeks ago, and their second opponent Philip Barbour (44-2-1), would be the marquee matchup of the night for sure.
As it turned out, the script pretty much followed along as expected, as Morgantown High took a little while to find their game, but then cranked up its intensity for a 2-0 sweep (25-15, 26-24) of the Indians.
MHS (21-8-1) then followed that effort with a 2-0 sweep of Philip Barbour.

Midway through the first set against Bridgeport, both teams were swinging well, while blocking and defense were all but absent.

The Indians (17-8-2) overcame an early four-point deficit to take the lead at 11-10, but then Morgantown adjusted defensively and served well — especially sophomore Audrey Buck and seniors Paige Brock and Erika Jenkins — to take a 16-11 lead.

The combination of consistent and difficult serves allowed the Mohigans hitters plenty of free opportunities and they made few mistakes down the stretch, as MHS quickly closed out the set.
Building on their 15-4 run in the first set, the Mohigans were grooving in all phases of their game during a devastating 7-0 stretch to begin the second set.

MHS topped the lead out at 16-6, then let off the gas a little, and Bridgeport, far from giving up, pridefully battled their way back into the set, climbing all the way to the top of the hill and tying the score at 21-21.

However, it’s one thing to get there, and another to get over the top, and that’s when the Morgantown reasserted themselves, taking three straight points, and even though the Indians saved three straight match points to tie it again at 24, MHS closed it out with a block and a kill.

“It took us a while to figure out what Bridgeport was doing, because we prepared for a middle hitter and blocker who didn’t play,” MHS head coach Erica Manor said. “But once we figured out the best way to attack them, I thought we executed the plan very well, and serving well definitely helped.

“The beginning of the second set was a real nice stretch for us. When we do what we’re supposed to do, that’s the kind of volleyball we can play, and it’s very satisfying to watch. We kind of let off the gas a little, and you can’t do that against good teams, but I was proud of the way we stuck with it and grinded out the points at the end to finish the match.”

In the sweep of both Bridgeport and Philip Barbour, the Mohigans were led by by Brock with 19 kills, Jenkins with five aces and five blocks, Belle DeVall with 23 assists, Liz Brink with seven blocks and Kaitlyn Anderson with five aces and nine kills.

The Mohigans finish out their regular season on the road at John Marshall on Thursday, and then play in a quad-tournament against Shady Springs, Martinsburg, and Musselman on Saturday. The sectional tournament begins next week.