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)


PHOTOS: Chattanooga FC Defeats Maryland 2-0 In Steinbrecher Cup Semis

PHOTOS: Byron Buxton Shows His Strong Arm In Friday's Game

Top Prospect Byron Buxton demonstrated his strong arm again Friday night at AT&T Field.  In the top of the second inning Biloxi's Nathan Orf  hit a line-drive single to center with the bases-loaded  plating Michael Reed and Brandon Macias who had each walked. Parker Berberet, who was on first base at the time, expected Lookouts' center-fielder Buxton to throw ... (click for more)

Driver Of Fleeing Truck Almost Hits Patrol Vehicle Of Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson; Gooch Arrested After Wreck

Deputies with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office took an area man into custody on Friday afternoon after the stolen truck he was driving forced Sheriff Eric Watson to take evasive action to avoid striking the vehicle.   Sheriff Watson was patrolling in the area of Bates Pike when an alert was issued for a light blue F-150 pickup truck for a possible vandalism in progress. ... (click for more)

Man Drove On Pineville Railroad Tracks Trying To Flee Police

Chattanooga Police Officer Giuseppe Troncone didn’t try to follow a 49-year-old man who tried to escape by driving his Cadillac on railroad tracks in the Pineville area, according to an affidavit filed in Hamilton County Criminal Sessions Court. Instead, he soon caught up with Alvin Donell Davis just by driving along East Elmwood Drive toward the “cloud of smoke coming from the ... (click for more)

Best City, Really? - And Response

I believe the success Chattanooga has had in the best outdoor city contest has got to be the "Ridge Cut" trail. To be able to sit in your vehicle while inching along right beside the old steel plant and, of course, the train yard where tankers sit loaded with hazardous gases. Then passing through one of the city's most active areas for gunfire, it's a win win.   It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: City Limits Worry Dogs, Cats

If you are a dog or a cat in the Chattanooga area, it is very important to know exactly where the city limits are. You need to know that if a stray animal is rescued in the city, it is taken to one of the finest animal shelters in all of America. But if the errant pooch or tabby is found in Hamilton County – outside the city limits -- it is taken to arguably the worst animal facility ... (click for more)