Lady Barons fall to Streaks in L-L quarters
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
After knocking off Garden Spot in a playoff match for the Section Two crown last Friday, Manheim Central was riding a wave of confidence going into the L-L playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Lady Barons, it wasn’t meant to be in a League quarterfinal-round playoff game against Manheim Township on Monday night. They battled back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, but ultimately suffered a 3-2 loss (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-8) to the Blue Streaks in Manheim.
"I want to say that any other time we match up with Manheim Township, I think we take them," Manheim Central coach Laurie McClure said. "But it just wasn’t our night. We didn’t quite have the blocking we needed. We had too many lags where we left them get too far of a lead, which can never be good against a quality team like that."
McClure believed her squad matched up well with the Streaks, with both teams featuring a strong setter (MC’s Renee Wiegand vs. MT’s Erika Schlager) and a strong middle (MC’s Kaitlyn Gochenauer vs. MT’s Devon Schneider).
But when the Streaks jumped to an 18-4 advantage in game four leading 2-1, it looked as though Township was on its way to ending it. Manheim Central, though, dug deep and, fueled by an 11-2 spurt, they took the game 25-20 to pull even. Lauree Wiegand led the Central girls with 17 kills and 29 digs.
From there, the MC girls were hoping to pick up in the fifth game where they left off, but MT grabbed an early 4-1 advantage behind a Lady Baron service error, a Blue Streak kill and two blocks. McClure called a timeout, but their struggles continued and the Streaks opened up an 8-1 edge.
"You’d think coming back from that much of a deficit that we’d take that momentum into the fifth game, which we’ve done all season," McClure said. "But by the time it gets (to 8-1), it’s hard to come back from that."
Last Friday in their showdown with Garden Spot, playing their fourth match in five days, the Lady Barons recovered from a disappointing 25-12 game one loss to win three of the next four (25-17, 25-19, 19-25, 15-9) to wrap up the Section Two crown.
Both teams entered the match with identical 11-1 records in league play.
"After that first game, I kinda got on their case a little bit because we are not a 25-12 team, and so I think that sparked them a little bit to push through and win the second and third games," McClure said.
Beating the Lady Spartans gave Central its first Section crown since the Lady Barons took the Section Three title in 2008.
"The Section title game, that was definitely great," McClure said. "Our seniors have been in that situation — Renee since she was a freshman and the others as sophomores and juniors — pretty much every year. So I think they had that motivation factor and the intensity to pick up the rest of the team." More MC VOLLEYBALL, page B-5