Lions rally to defend home court

Chelsea High School senior Samantha Colyer and junior Holly Marbut, from left, attempt to block an attack by Briarwood Christian senior Logan Nasworthy in the Hornets' loss to the Lions in a Class 5A, Area 7 match Sept. 8. (Reporter Photo/Kala Bolton)

By KALA BOLTON / Staff Writer

The Briarwood Christian School and Chelsea High School volleyball teams sure know how to put on a good show.

In a match that came down to the last few plays, the Lions beat out the Hornets 25-21, 17-25, 25-9, 21-25, 16-14 at home to take their first area match of the season Sept. 8.

“It was a tough loss,” said Chelsea setter Jess Vohler. “It takes a lot to beat Briarwood. They’re a really good team.”

The Hornets are 11-6 overall and 2-1 in Class 5A, Area 7. The Lions improved to 6-9 overall with a 1-0 area record.

In a match marked by extended rallies between the two squads, the Lions took the first set on kill from Briarwood senior Logan Nasworthy.

“It was a little rough at first, but thanks to our student section and fans we finally started picking our energy up and got it all together,” said Nasworthy, who racked up 10 kills, six digs, two aces and one block.

Chelsea’s Samantha Coyler sealed a win for the Hornets, closing out the second set with a block and two service aces.

The Lions looked fierce in the third game, taking a win before Chelsea reached the 10-point mark, but the Hornets bounced back to take the fourth set, sending the match to a decisive game five.

The two squads were neck-and-neck well into the fifth set until the Hornets pulled away, going up 14-11. With the game on the line, junior Lizzie Baumbach stepped up for the Lions, scoring on two back-to-back services aces. A Chelsea error brought the Lions up by one before sophomore Georgia Muir-Taylor tipped the ball onto the Hornet’s side to seal the deal for Briarwood.

“I feel really good about how we played,” said Briarwood senior Carly Cline, who totaled three kills and five digs. “I think we played really hard and fought the whole time.”

Chelsea head coach Jamie Gill said, despite being handed their first area loss of the season, the Hornets have a lot to be proud of.

“We definitely left everything out on the court,” Gill said. “The girls played harder than they’ve played all season. They wanted it. It just didn’t fall our way.”

Chelsea’s Holly Marbut totaled five kills on the night, Kacie Craft had four service aces and Emma Cotney racked up 12 digs.

Lions’ freshmen Lauren Palmer had eight kills while freshman Madison Chambers racked up six. Sophomore Hope Donohue had three aces and five digs.

“We’re very young and inexperienced, and when you’re young and inexperienced, you’re going to have ups and downs,” said Briarwood head coach Tien Le. “I thought the times that we were up, we were solid and did what we needed to do, and we won.”

Although Le said he was glad to come out with a win, having Chelsea within one point of victory during the fifth set was too close for comfort.

“I have to applaud Chelsea because they played great,” he said. “I feel very blessed that we got out with a win.”