SSC quiets Fulda in five
FULDA -- Facing a two-game deficit on the road in a tight Red Rock Conference volleyball match-up, the Southwest Star Concept Quasars had their backs against the wall.
"I was thinking that we needed to do whatever we can to win Game 3, and then go from there," SSC head coach Rick Haberman said. "I think all the girls thought too that we're still in it, but obviously we need to take care of Game 3. There's a little more urgency when you're down 2-0; you don't have room for error."
The Quasars (3-0 conference, 3-5 overall) went on to win the final three games over the Fulda Raiders (1-2, 5-3-2) to claim a 17-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-6 victory.
"I was very happy with how we came out and played hard and played together," Fulda head coach Jessica Hogan said. "We just kind of mirrored each other, it seemed like. The way they played at the end of the match was the way we played at the start of the match. They had a little more at the end than we did."
In the crucial third game, SSC's Michelle Olsem had one of her seven kills on the night to give the Quasars an early 7-3 lead, prompting a Fulda time out.
The Raiders who would climb back into the game and after one of Stephanie Gunderman's four aces, trailed by just three.
The two teams traded points until the Quasars went on a 4-0 run to win the game and stay alive in the match.
"I thought we just did a good job of hanging with it," Haberman said. "We could have folded up and been done, but we stayed with it, so I'm proud of the team for that and happy with the way we battled back."
Katherine Kazemba's kill in the fourth game gave SSC a 3-0 lead and the momentum early in the contest.
Trailing by seven late in the fourth game, Fulda took a time out to try and regain its composure. But it was too little, too late for the Raiders as SSC went on to the 25-18 Game 4 victory.
Tied at three in the fifth game, SSC went on a 7-0 run, en route to a 15-6 victory.
"With SSC, you can never count them out because they are a well coached team," Hogan said. "I knew they were going to make adjustments and battle back, and I was hoping that we would keep fighting and keep digging, and played the way we did the first two games but that didn't happen."
The first game was a dogfight between the two teams. Trailing by one, SSC's Adri Rasche had one of her seven kills on the night, to tie the game at six-all.
From there, the Raiders went on a 10-5 run to take a 16-11 lead. The Quasars tried to climb back into the game, but fell short as Fulda took the 25-17 victory.
"We do have things that we need to get better at. We make too many unforced errors, and I think that really hurt us in Game 1 and Game 2," Haberman said. "Basically, it's hurt us all season long really. We just need to get better at being consistent; we need to be consistently more consistent."
Rasche's kill early in the second game gave SSC an 8-4 lead, but the lead would be short-lived as an ace by Sam Raddle tied the game at 12-all.
Both teams would trade points back and forth, as SSC's Sydney Place had a kill to tie the game at 20.
Behind the serving of Mari Holinka, including one of her three aces, the Raiders went on a 4-0 run and needed only one point to secure the Game 2 victory.
However, SSC answered with three straight points to make the game close.
An unforced error by the Quasars gave Fulda the victory and a two-game advantage.
"I was proud of our team, the way we battled back, because it's a hot night in here and Fulda had a lot of momentum after the first two games -- especially winning a close Game 2," Haberman said.
The victory kept SSC undefeated in the conference.
"It's real big because we're pretty early in the season, and we haven't won a lot of matches," Haberman said. "Any win is nice, a conference win is nice, a win on the road is real nice, and it was very good to get the win."
Gunderman led the Raiders with eight kills, while Holinka had seven. Raddle had 10 set assists, but also had six kills of her own.
For SSC, Chelsey Cranston and Luanna Henkels each had 15 set assists, while Henkels added four aces from the service line.
Fulda will travel to Round Lake-Brewster on Thursday while SSC will travel to Hills/Beaver Creek the same night.