Brooke battles by John Marshall
WELLSBURG — Brooke volleyball coach Lori Lynn Jackson wanted to see her team be aggressive at the net on Thursday.
Despite dropping the third set, the Bruins did exactly what their coach expected as they upended visiting John Marshall in four sets by counts of 25-20, 25-18, 22-25 and 25-21.
Hope Bowman turned in 13 kills and six blocks, while Courtney Engle provided 11 blocks and nine kills at the net for Brooke. Senior Landyn Haynes also accumulated nine kills.
“I just kept telling my girls to keep attacking,” Jackson said. “They can’t just sit back and that’s what we did in that third set. We have to start and finish and we worked a lot on our blocking, too.
“John Marshall always has a talented team and they are always competitive. We didn’t perform against Wheeling Park on Tuesday, so I knew coming in that our girls would be a little extra motivated because we didn’t want to lose to both teams in our section. That’s rough.”
Although John Marshall only won the third set, it stayed with Brooke every step of the way.
“We have a lot of determination,” John Marshall coach Cathleen Harr said. “We have some girls on the team that have played varsity since their freshman year and they know what it takes to be intense and to pull through to win games.”
In the opening set, there were six ties and seven lead changes early on.
With an 11-11 reading showing on the scoreboard, the Brooke defense broke serve and Engle followed with a pair of points to capture a 14-11 edge. After a solid battle between the two squads, Engle eventually delivered the kill that put the Bruins up 1-0 in the match.
John Marshall’s Emily Harr delivered a pair of 4-point streaks during the next set, the second spurt cutting the deficit to 19-17 but Brooke reeled off a 6-1 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Monarchs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set behind four straight points from Taylor Gray, but Bowman answered with four consecutive points of her own for the Bruins to cut the score to 7-5.
The teams went back-and-forth and with a 22-22 deadlock, Coach Harr called timeout to speak to her team.
John Marshall responded to the message by reeling off the final three points to claim the set.
Haynes made sure the Bruins got the momentum back on their side early in the fourth as she strung together five straight points for a 6-1 advantage and Engle added to the lead with four consecutive points, extending the lead to 15-6.
Once again, the Monarchs didn’t go away quietly as libero Lydia Knutsen delivered four straight points to get within 18-14 but Jackson’s crew got back to its aggressive play.
In a tight 24-21 contest, Brooke’s Sarah Moore garnered an impressive dig, followed by a set by Chole Fox and a powerful game-winning kill by Haynes to secure the match victory.
“There were moments where everybody stood out to me,” Jackson said. “They all played very well (Thursday) and it was a very good team win.”
Fox dished out 31 assists in the win along with five kills. Rachel Kazmirski and Haynes each collected 22 digs, while Engle gathered 15 and Maria Kamarados added 12.
Bowman turned in 10 aces behind the service line and Haynes added eight.
“Our serving was on,” Jackson said. “They are a very good team but I think our girls earned this one.”