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Lady Indians edge MHS girls in Region A semifinals

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Middlesex’s Maggie Hall digs up a hard serve against Northumberland in Saturday’s Region A semifinal match. Hall is the only senior on the MHS team. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)
by Tom Chillemi

A rally by the Middlesex High volleyball team fell one game short in Saturday’s Region A semifinal loss to Northumberland at Mathews.

The Lady Chargers lost the first two games, 25-14 and 25-21, but won the next two games 25-21 and 25-19 to tie the match. The Lady Indians prevailed in the fifth and deciding game 15-9.

“This was a sad ending to a great season,” said MHS coach Jennifer Harrow. “I have no doubts we were the stronger team. We played a little too tentative at times and that lost the match. There were also times when players didn’t seem to be as focused as they needed to be.” 

Harrow noted that Kelsey Hainley “made a lot of great saves throughout the match.” Jillien Puster and Chelsi Blake “both had a great hitting match.” 

Puster, who was named second team All-Region A, had 21 kills and 19 assists against Northumberland.

Blake had16 kills and 3 serving aces; Joey Stinchcomb had 2 blocks; Hainley and Blake each had 3 aces; Hainley was credited with 35 assists; and Chelsea Lewter had 15 digs.

“From day one of the season, I felt that I had a great team,” said Harrow.” At times, I think that I believed in their strengths more than they did, and that is why our season has abruptly ended one game from making the state tournament.” 

The Lady Chargers will lose only Maggie Hall to graduation. “I am happy to have worked with Maggie as a captain. She really filled her spot well and I will definitely miss her leadership next year,” said Harrow.

“We should have an even stronger team next year,” said Harrow. “Returnees will have to work hard to retain their positions next year. I see a lot of young talent rising from the JV team. 

“For next year, I need the girls to be conditioned and ready at the beginning of the season, so that we can start a step ahead from this year,” said Harrow. 

Two volleyball camps are in the plans for next summer, Harrow said. “As always, I’m excited to see how far these girls will take it next year. They have the skills and talent to win. Once they get the confidence, they will be unstoppable.”

Undefeated Mathews swept Northumberland in three games to take the Region A title. Earlier on Saturday, Mathews had defeated Essex in four games in the semifinals.

In the State Group A quarterfinals, host Mathews defeated Altavista in three games on Tuesday, and Northumberland lost in three games at Strasburg. Mathews will play in the state semifinals Friday, November 20, at the Siegel Center in Richmond. The state title match is Saturday at the Siegel Center.

posted 11.18.2009

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