Lions pounce Hornets in three sets
BY CLAYTON HURDLE / Staff Writer
With only one day’s rest between matches, Briarwood Christian head coach Tien Le worried his team would have a tough time defeating the Chelsea Hornets.
“We just played on Saturday in a tournament,” Le said. “Sometimes that can prove to be a bad thing, but I think we’re in the groove because we played this weekend.”
While it wasn’t a cakewalk, Le’s Lions defeated the visiting Hornets in straight sets on Monday Sept. 10.
The Hornets fought hard with only eight players available but their rallies to end the first and third sets both failed.
“We’re battling some injuries and lineup changes, so that’s what threw off my girls tonight,” Chelsea coach Jamie Gill said.
After Briarwood opened up with a 22-11 lead to start the first set, the Hornets took an 8-1 run to pull within four points of the Lions. Briarwood scored the last two points of the game to take the 1-0 match lead.
Set two opened with another 8-1 run; however, this one came courtesy of the Lions.
“At the end of the first set they made a 6-0 run on us, so in my opinion they had the momentum at that moment,” Le said. “Our kids buckled down and worked really hard to make that run.”
Chelsea’s attempt to take the set away failed as Briarwood held on to go up 2-0 with a 25-13 set win.
In the most contested set of the match, the Lions (16-5, 0-1) took the last three points to secure the match with a 25-21 victory.
The Hornets shot off to a 4-0 lead but Briarwood took a 10-3 run to go ahead in the set. A ferocious Mariah Light kill early in the set helped spark the Lions’ rally.
The Hornets never let the Lions get comfortable in the lead, forcing Briarwood’s second timeout of the set after closing in to make the score 22-21.
A long volley ended the match, as Chelsea sent a softly-hit ball into the net to give the Lions match point.
Briarwood’s energy level was as high at the match’s onset as it was at the end of the game, which pleased their coach.
“One of the things I preach is that if somebody walks in and just watches us, they shouldn’t be able to tell whether we’re winning or losing just by the way we carry ourselves,” Le said. “Being positive with each other is something we’ve been working really hard on.”