Sabers swept by Hanover
Thursday, October 24, 2013
AMHERST – Going up against the fourth best team in Division II proved to be a daunting task for the Souhegan High School girls volleyball team on Monday.
The Sabers swept in a brief meeting with Hanover by scores of 25-15, 25-16 and 25-14.
Souhegan got off to a promising start in Game 1, when Hannah Cochran mounted a three-point run giving the Sabers an 8-7 advantage, but that turned out to be their only lead over the unwavering Marauders.
Hanover (11-3) scored its points in bunches behind the serving of Darby Phillips, Elisabeth Pillsbury, Zoe McElwain and Leia Borrowes. All four combined for five streaks of four or more points.
“We definitely brought ourselves up more in the second and third game more than the first game,” Souhegan’s Amanda Gendron said. “Usually in first games we start out a little slow.”
The Sabers (6-8) collected their composure and made one more stab at a rally in the second game. KK Knapp served up two straight points, closing the Souhegan deficit to 14-13, but McElwain’s six-point run put the contest out of reach.
The Sabers could not keep pace with the Marauders in the third and final game. McElwain and Pillsbury teamed up for streaks of five and four points respectively to laid the way for Hanover’s win.
“I think today they played scared,” Souhegan coach Kelly Olsen said. “Hanover is No. 4 and I think that got in their heads. They weren’t moving, they weren’t communicating as well.”
For Souhegan, Gendron compiled five kills, Cochran had four aces and a kill, Knapp had three kills, Jaime King had four kills and an ace, while Sam Allen had three kills, one block and an ace.
On the Hanover side, McElwain had 13 assists and four kills, Pillsbury had 10 kills, Vanessa Nwokoye had seven blocks and Holly Schlosser had five kills.
“I think (the Marauders) are doing what we need them to do at this time of year,” said Hanover coach Amy Carney. “They’re not letting down. They’re getting their serves over and in, they’re getting their attacks down and in. They’re peaking at the right time. We played a good, even three sets today.”
Despite the numbers on the scoreboard, Olsen was able to see some positive aspects in her players’ performance.
“We had some great setups and great kills,” Olsen said. “Also, our serving was really solid. We just had our back on the line, we just served and they kept falling.”
The Sabers have been seeking a defensive identity this year, a flaw which the potent Hanover attack was able to exploit.
“Our biggest obstacle is just passing the balls to the center,” Olsen said. “Once we get it to the center, we’ve got a great offense that can put it down.”
Souhegan has locked itself in the playoffs and currently sits as the 10th seed in the Division II standings.
The Sabers have a daunting final stretch to their season, with a trip to Windham (12-2) on Wednesday and St. Thomas (11-3) visiting on Friday.
“The thing I love about (the Sabers) is they can keep their energy up and work together,” said Olsen. “(Tuesday) we’re going to really work hard on covering and passing the ball to the center.”