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MHS girls win tourney opener

by Tom Chillemi

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Middlesex’s Chelsi Blake (right) hammers a spike against Lindsay Crigler of Mathews as Lady Charger teammate Chelsea Lewter looks on.  (Photo by Tom Chillemi)
The Middlesex High varsity volleyball team, which finished third in the regular season of the Tidewater District, defeated King and Queen Monday in the first round of the district tournament in Saluda.

The semifinals and finals were held at Mathews on Wednesday, October 29. In the semifinals, Middlesex played second-seeded West Point, and undefeated regular season champion Mathews met King William. The two winners played for the championship. (See SSentinel.com and the Nov. 6 Sentinel for the results.)

The regular season finishing order was as follows: Mathews, West Point, Middlesex, King William, Colonial Beach, and King and Queen.

In the regular season finale on October 23, Mathews defeated Middlesex 25-23, 25-12 and 25-14.

In the first game, Middlesex led 22-18, but Mathews tied it 22-22 and pressed on for a game win.

“We started off strong and actually seemed to get in the heads of some of the Mathews’ players,” said Middlesex coach Jennifer Harrow. “We got a strong lead, but with a few critical mistakes, especially serves and over passes, the game turned around quickly. 

“It just seemed after we lost the first game, the team’s spirit was gone and we couldn’t get it back together,” Harrow said. “Every time we started getting our energy and enthusiasm back, we either missed another serve or over passed the ball so that Mathews got an easy kill.

“Raquel Pierce screamed and cheered the entire match trying to boost enthusiasm, but we couldn’t bring it back,” said Coach Harrow 
 On Monday, Middlesex defeated King and Queen 25-3, 25-8 and 25-14.

For Middlesex, Ashley Figg had 14 points (6 aces), 1 kill, and 3 assists; Raquel Pierce, 10 points (8 aces), 1 assist; Maggie Hall, 10 points (5 aces), 2 kills; Kelsey Hainley, 3 points (2 aces), 1 kill, 5 assists; Danielle Montgomery, 6 points (2 aces), 2 kills, 2 assists; Hayley Guess, 4 points (3 aces), 3 kills; Chelsea Lewter, 2 aces, 1 kill; Lauren Figg, 4 points (3 aces), 1 kill; Kelly Purcell, 2 aces, 1 assist; Jamie Davis, 2 kills; Ashae Burnett, 1 kill; and Caroline Davis, 1 kill, 2 assists,
“Ashley Figg, Maggie Hall, and Raquel Pierce all had great serving nights,” said Harrow. A. Figg served 12 points in a row in the first game and Pierce served 10 in a row the second game. 

Guess had some nice middle hits, noted Harrow. 

Although Middlesex won, “there were too many preventable errors,” said Harrow.

 Overall, the Lady Chargers’ season has been a rebuilding year and the team has grown, said Harrow. “I have seen a lot of improvement in my younger players, which is very exciting for the next few years. I have a lot of talent and some of them are finally realizing how good they can be.

“We had a little lull in the middle of our season, but the players have come out of it a lot stronger and willing to fight harder for their successes,” said Harrow. “They have the desire to win and are now working for it.” 

Middlesex also defeated King and Queen on October 21 by the identical score of 25-8 in all three games.

posted 10.30.2008

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