Young Mavericks showing surprising veteran poise | Volleyball

Meadowdale rallies from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Inglemoor
By David Pan | Sep 14, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Sophie Kotz (11) and Kaitlyn Robinson (14) go up for a block against Inglemoor during a non-conference match Thursday, Sept. 7, at Meadowdale High School.

A young Meadowdale volleyball team showed some surprising veteran poise against Inglemoor.

The Mavericks rallied from a 2-0 deficit to stun the Vikings 18-25, 15-25, 25-19, 25-20, 16-14 in a non-conference match Thursday, Sept. 7, at Meadowdale High School.

Meadowdale (1-1) struggled early on, falling behind 7-0 in the first game before regrouping. The Mavericks entered the match with only eight players after one of their starters was sidelined with an injury.

Mavericks coach Machen Shrum said that she was trying to find the right combinations on the floor. In the final game, Inglemoor came back from a 14-11 deficit to tie the score at 14.

“In the end, the girls were able to put it together and pull off some magic,” Shrum said.

Meadowdale return only three players from last year – senior libero Freya Bloomberg, senior middle blocker Alivia Meucci and junior outside hitter Kelsey Cummins.

“Everyone else is new,” Shrum said.

All three returners played key roles in the come-from-behind victory.

Cummins led Meadowdale with 13 kills and finished strong in the fifth game.

“Kelsey was consistent the whole night, everywhere from back row, front,” Shrum said. “She’s really come to be a very consistent reliable hitter this year. … Her defense is even better than her offense.”

Meucci came up big in the fourth game, especially with her serves. She also recorded nine kills.

“She came out with some bullets, got a couple of really good serves right away,” Shrum said. “A block always seems to light the fire and the energy. She got a couple of good blocks.”

Bloomberg had a strong all-round defensive performance, finishing with 16 digs.

Junior setter Sophie Kotz dished out 23 assists and had eight kills and sophomore setter Hailey Stephens finished with 17 assists.

Up until the third day of tryouts, Kotz was a middle hitter but Shrum decided to switch her to setter. This was only her second match as a setter.

“We’re young and inexperienced, but they work hard,” Shrum said.

Shrum admitted that at times the amount of work she wants to get done at practices can be overwhelming.

“There’s so much with so many individuals,” she said. “We still have a long ways to go. But this is a good confidence booster.”

Meadowdale lost its season opener 25-22, 20-25, 25-11, 26-24 to Bothell on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Bothell High School. Shrum was still encouraged by her team’s effort.

“We played them well,” Shrum said. “They’re competing and they’re seeing they can play at this level and that’s kind of where it all starts.”

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