Spartans able to hold off Bobcats
Thursday, September 12, 2013
MILFORD – The Milford High School girls volleyball team got a scare from Oyster River on Monday night, but Spartans coach Chuck Roberson hopes his team can win more games in the same way.
The Spartans got redemption over the team that upset them in last year’s Division II quarterfinals with a 3-1 win in a matchup that they nearly frittered away.
“It’s the best thing in the world because we have to win those games,” Roberson said. “Since we’re young, we haven’t been in those games.”
The scores of the games were 25-16, 25-11, 23-25, 25-23.
The Spartans (2-0) were cruising after outscoring the Bobcats 50-27 through the first two games. Milford enjoyed longer point runs because of consistent serving, lead by Olivia Rougeau and Jess Scott, but the Bobcats (0-1) rallied right from the start of Game 3 after regaining their composure.
“Our serve and receive passing was better at the end,” Oyster River coach Dan Brodeur said. “In the beginning we struggled, whether it was responsibilities or watching the pass, in the end they (Oyster River) had more confidence.”
The Bobcats brought the same momentum to Game 4, jumping out to as much as a four-point lead, but consistent serving from Rougeau and Abby Blanchet gave Milford the edge until the end.
“We ran out of gas,” Brodeur said. “We’ve got to find our point in the middle where we’re playing consistently from the beginning.”
Game 3 was a combination of Oyster River revving up, while Milford was set on cruise control.
“We lost our focus in Game 3,” Roberson said. “We missed more serves in than we did in the other two combined. You let them play with you by missing serves that you didn’t miss in the first two sets and then you’re on edge.”
Oyster River’s Brenna Walczak left the court in Game 2 when her thumb bent awkwardly while swatting at an Rougeau serve. But the towering middle hitter was back for the next match to give her team a boost when it needed it most and concluded the third game with a kill.
“(Walczak) hurt us last year and at times affected us this time,” Roberson said.
Rougeau, a sophomore in her first year of full time varsity play, stood out at the serving line with five runs of two points or more and nine kills.
“I just had a really good toss,” said Rougeau, who ended the match with a kill. “That’s the best I’ve ever been. That’s a really good win, we all played really well.”
For the Spartans, Blanchet had 55 assists, Jess Leach had eight kills and Barbara Ferraz had seven aces. For Oyster River, Walczak had 10 kills, Selia Libby had six kills, Samantha Walker had 12 digs and China Wong had 14 assists.
Milford was scheduled to host Windham on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to learn to be aggressive all the time,” Roberson said. “We’ve got to learn not to play afraid.”