The shaky referees stand was about the only thing in Langley’s green and white colors that seemed to teeter, as the undefeated Saxons volleyball team made quick work of George Marshall, sweeping the best of 5 series by taking the first three games on Monday night.
Heavily favored Langley, unbeaten in their last sixteen contests, looked every bit the part, jumping on the Statesmen early with strong serving from Lisa Scott and Megan Shifflett. Shifflett closed out the first match with back to back service aces, sending the Statesmen reeling 25-6.
After a delay early in the second match to change the referee’s stand, the Statesmen managed to keep within several points as both teams volleyed for momentum. The Statesmen broke first, as they were unable to answer the powerful serve of Christina Bumpus, whose three consecutive service aces notched the tough Saxon squad up by nine, as they went on to win 25-16.
Though down, the Statesmen never looked out, building momentum from a timeout halfway through the third match to put together a solid ending effort. Center Christine Taylor, the junior floor captain for the Statesmen had nine assists and was aided by three big kills from senior outside hitter Frances Kwong as the Statesmen rallied, going on a 9-1 run as Marshall threatened late in the match to pull the score to a close 23-20.
“We started off a little flat footed, and weren’t always on our toes but gradually we settled down and into the game,” said senior Laura Burch. “We didn’t want to leave this gym and this game without giving them a scare.”
The Statesmen did just that, as both teams exchanged long serves and swapped points, with the Saxons clinging to a 24-21 lead, their smallest of the night. After several hits back and forth, a strike by middle blocker Lisa Scott sailed over the net and straight through the Statesmen’s hopes putting Langley on top for good, 25-21.
Marshall Head Coach Ericka Rockwood said playing such a tough team will only help her Statesmen squad next week when they prepare to face another Madison County, another strong area team.
“Win or lose we need to improve each game and I think we did that here tonight- the important thing now is hopefully we will take that [momentum] into next game.”