Despite a Strong Start at Home MC Volleyball Falls to Baltimore City

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Half an hour before game time, both teams were practicing on their respective sides. The Thursday night sky was dark and rainy but the gym was bright and lively. With loud music and a good amount of fans for support the Raptors were ready to compete.

One major difference stood between the two squads before the match even began. Age and experience. BC’s roster contained almost all sophomores with just one freshman. MC’s team was almost the complete opposite, 10 freshman and just 2 sophomores.

After the national anthem was played and handshakes were exchanged the squads took to the court. As “jump around” by House of Pain pumped through the gym the announcer shouted, “Let’s play ball.”

At 6:06 the match started. First points were shared between both teams. Both sides were incredibly vocal right from the start. Cheers erupted after every point. The lead seemed to change hands constantly in the first set, but after 20 minutes of fighting the Raptors eventually took it 24-21.

The stands were filled with at least 50 eager fans after MC won the exciting first set. In the second set Baltimore came out firing and took the lead 12-6. The raptors, in white jerseys, made numerous attempts to take back the lead but the Panthers never surrendered..

In the important third set the game was extremely close. No team got ahead by more than a few points in the beginning. MC showed great hustle and determination keeping the score close. In doing so they gave themselves numerous chances to take the lead. After falling behind late in the set coach Torri Keno called a timeout to get her players ready for the last few plays of the set. The intensity rose in the final few minutes as both teams had 22 points a piece. The raptors had to survive 3 game points to have a chance at winning the set. A serve by #14,Nicole Rios, tied it at 24 points. They went forward and won the set. This effort set up a potentially game winning last set.

MC couldn’t close the game in set 4. BC forced a final, set 5. The rules of the fifth set are different. Teams play to a smaller total of 15 points instead of 25.

Soon one of the Baltimore players went down with a leg injury. After a few minutes she was helped off the court to a standing ovation from both teams and the fans. Head Coach, Tarese Smith, of the Panthers noted the scrappiness of the game. She was happy to be able to finish strong after their center was sidelined.

The final set was just as close and exciting as the rest. Both teams competed hard until the very end. Both had chances to pull away and neither let the other go until the very end. Somehow the Panthers escaped with a win after falling behind late in the game.

Marlene Morales, a freshman setter from Einstein, thought MC had enough skill to win. “It was all mentality,” said Morales

The more experienced side won this time, however as this team of mostly freshmen continues to play hard they will eventually learn what is needed to close out these close games. MC will look to rebound and get back to a even record this Saturday as they take on Delaware Technical Community College.