Youthful GPS Uses Strong Comeback To Beat Red Bank

Bruisers Now 4-7 Following 3-2 Thriller Over Lionettes Wednesday

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - by John Hunt

It’s been a roller-coaster season so far for the GPS volleyball team and they haven’t even gotten through the first month of competition.

Injuries, illness and youthfulness have all taken its toll on the Bruisers.  Their record was 3-7 prior to Wednesday’s match at home against Red Bank.

The Bruisers can and will get better.  They took a step in that direction following a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Lionettes in a match that could have gone either way.

GPS built a 16-5 lead in the first set, but had to hang on for dear life to prevail, 25-23. 

The Bruisers had a similar big lead in the second set, bolting to a 13-3 advantage before Red Bank started playing.  Five straight service points from Allison Walker allowed the Lionettes to knot the score at 17-17 before taking control at 21-17.

Red Bank then prevailed by 25-19 to even the score at one set apiece.

GPS scored the first point of the third set, but this one belonged to Red Bank.  The difference was 13-9 before Red Bank's Janie Smith’s kill gave her team an emotional boost and Susie Marler followed with eight straight service points as the visitors proceeded to take a 2-1 lead with the convincing 25-14 win.

The score was tied on five occasions in the fourth set – the last time at 7-7 – before GPS started playing with intention and purpose.  The Bruisers scored nine of the next 12 points and never looked back as they evened the match at two sets apiece with the 25-15 win.

GPS, with momentum clearly on its side following the fourth set, took advantage by scoring the first three points and six of the first eight as they closed out the match with the 15-6 decision.

“I thought we had a good start, but being as young as we are, we started playing not to lose and that’s frustrating,” said GPS coach Paul Brock afterward.

“We were passing all over the board and our hitting was inconsistent, but we made some adjustments after that fourth set to give our hitters a few more options.  We went to a smaller lineup and finally got our chemistry right.

“I’m happy with the first, fourth and fifth sets, but we could have just folded our tent and quit.  Our passing was better today than yesterday and we had  better ball control.  Momentum can be an amazing creature at times, but you always want it on your side.  Teenaged girls don’t always have the mental toughness to control it, so it’s hard to stop at times.

“We’re getting better and we just have to keep working, but we should be okay before the season ends,” he added.

Red Bank coach Mandi Munn saw a lot of positives and was basically pleased with everything except the final score.

“We have to learn how to finish out a match when the momentum is on our side.  We fought hard and played pretty well for the most part, but we just have to learn how to be mentally tougher in situations like that.  I’m hoping that we can learn from our mistakes.  We still have some cleaning up to do with our game, but it’s tough losing a match like that,” she nodded after her team had fallen to 6-5 in the non-district match.

Angela Bonds, one of four GPS seniors on the roster, was a force up front as she demonstrated her outstanding leaping ability as she finished with 17 kills.

Mackenzie Hobbs, another senior who just returned from surgery, contributed 19 digs while Reagan Williams, yet another upper-classman, may have had the best match of all with a dozen kills, 15 digs and 31 assists.

Caitlyn Jenkins spearheaded Red Bank’s attack with 11 kills and 17 digs while Hannah Wilson had 22 digs and Marjorie Smith six blocks.

RED BANK STATS:

Caitlyn Jenkins – 11 kills, 17 digs, 2 aces

Allison Walker – 6 kills, 12 digs

Rachel Thornbury – 16 digs, 2 aces

Hannah  Wilson – 22 digs, 2 aces

Janie Smith – 4 kills, 5 blocks

Jasmine Simpson – 2 kills

Dani Usher – 5 kills, 5 blocks

Megan Paradis – 5 digs, 3 aces

Cassidy Payne – 6 digs

Marjorie Smith – 4 kills, 6 blocks, 6 digs.

GPS STATS:

Kate McVay – 1 dig

Lilly Berger – 8 kills 6 digs

Courtlyn Martino – 17 digs

Jenna Simpson – 3 kills, 4 aces, 27 digs

Helen Johnston – 4 kills, 3 blocks

Angela Bonds – 17 kills, 3 aces, 12 digs

Allyce Buniak – 5 kills, 5 blocks

Mackenzie Hobbs – 1 ace, 19 digs

Reagan Williams – 12 kills, 31 assists, 1 ace, 15 digs

Gabby Hughes – 3 kills, 17 assists, 5 aces, 1 dig

Cami Shands – 1 kill, 1 block, 1 dig.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Tennessee Xtreme Girls Basketball Hosts Tryouts Jan. 29

Tennessee Xtreme Girls Basketball will be hosting tryouts on  Sunday, Jan. 29,  at Shepherd Hills Center, 2124 Shepherd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421. Grades 3, 4, and 5 begin at  3 p.m.  and grades 6, 7, and 8 start at  5 p.m. Visit  www.tnxtreme.com  for more information. (click for more)

Szmidt Starts Red Hot In Heights' Rare Home Game

Talk about starting out a game with red-hot shooting. Hamilton Heights’ Therren Shelton-Szmidt was on target early, hitting 5-of-6 3-pointers in the first quarter and leading the Hawks to a 72-57 victory over Central Park on Friday night. Szmidt’s opening barrage helped the Hawks take a 29-8 advantage after one quarter of action. They were up 49-20 at halftime. Playing ... (click for more)

Jumoke Johnson, 23, And Christopher Woodard, 20, Shot And Killed On 12th Street; Vehicle Crashes Near Willow Street

Jumoke Johnson, 23, and Christopher Woodard, 20, were shot and killed in the 2100 block of E. 12th Street on Friday night. The vehicle in which the shooting victims were riding crashed, landing on another car near Willow Street. The people in the car that wrecked were dead when officers arrived. Police said the incident happened around 8:15 p.m. Police are looking for ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning On East 3rd Street

Three people were shot on East 3rd Street early Saturday morning. They were identified as Countess Clemons, 24, Kezia Jackson, 23, and Dutchess Lykes, 26.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 2:40 a.m. to person(s) shot call at a local hospital. All three victims were transported to the hospital via a personally-owned vehicle. All three victims said ... (click for more)

Bakewell Mountain Community Thanks Commissioner Fairbanks

The residents of Bakewell Mountain want to formally thank Commissioner Randy Fairbanks for standing up for our community in protecting our property rights and families. He personally made several trips to our properties and homes to see how the proposed gun range would affect our daily lives with noise, traffic, and a decrease in property values. Sometimes the little guys need ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)