Despite trailing, 2-1, in the best of five-set match to Brookfield Central and having lost all the momentum, Brookfield East girls volleyball coach Chris Polowy never doubted his young Spartans team.
It's a good thing, because East roared back to beat the Lancers, 3-2, in a thrilling Greater Metro Conference match on Sept. 25 at East.
East won the first set (26-24) and then watched the Lancers dominate, winning the next two (25-14, 25-13).
"Our girls went into (the match) confident and focused on our game plan," Polowy said. "We worked hard to prepare for what BC would throw at us. Of course, there were some bumps in the road. After taking a hard-fought first set, our girls lost all momentum they had gained as we convincingly dropped the next two."
But Polowy's crew got their act together and won the final two sets (25-19, 15-13).
"We're not surprised that our girls were able to fight their way back after those two sets considering we're 9-0 on the year in matches that come down to a deciding set," Polowy said. "This is an unbelievable stat for a team as young as we are."
Brookfield Central coach Scott Spiess was disheartened with the results, but also praised the young Spartans.
"This was a disappointing loss for us," he said. "Credit to them for not giving up, sticking to what was working against our defense and executing in crunch time. We've got to establish more consistency moving forward.
"While we played especially well at times (sets two and three), we did not play our best when it mattered the most.
"We had an opportunity to win the first set and had we done so I firmly believe there would have been a different outcome in the match.
"We also had an opportunity to close the match in the fourth set but did not capitalize on it."
Polowy had praise for the Lancers.
"They're a great team with a lot of versatility and two great attackers in Jessica Meichtry and Taylor Held," he said. "We knew the game would come down to controlling their outside attack and us being able to transition that into some sort of offense.
"For the most part, our girls were able to carry out that plan. We too have tons of versatility and our girls showed this.
"We've never had a team that has had this much resilience and fight in them. It truly is a great thing to be a part of.
"I'm especially happy for our two seniors, Olivia Lyster and Morgan Parker. Both played large roles in (the) win."
Lyster had 10 kills and 22 digs, Taylor Wilkerson had nine kills and four blocks. Louise Kiekhofer finished with eight kills, Jessa Hansen had 19 digs and passed out 15 assists.
For Central, Held finished with 19 kills and 30 digs, Carly Sobrilsky had 36 assists and Nicole Hinz had five blocks and three aces.
With the win, the Spartans improved to 26-7 overall and 4-1 in league play, while Central fell to 9-14 and 2-3 in the GMC.
Lancers third at tourney
The Lancers finished tied for third out of 10 teams at Saturday's Brittney Gigl Memorial Tournament at Nicolet.
Central finished fourth in Pool Play, losing to Homestead (23-25, 27-25, 15-13), beating Whitefish Bay (25-21, 25-17) and New Berlin West (25-22, 25-12) and losing to Watertown (25-21, 25-21).
The Lancers defeated Racine St. Catherine's (12-25, 26-24, 15-9) in the quarterfinals and lost to Watertown (28-26, 25-22) in the semifinals.
Stat leaders were Held (57 kills, 42 digs and six blocks), Sobrilsky (96 assists, 11 aces) and Meichtry (11 aces).
"Overall, it was a good day for us," Spiess said. "Although we came up just a few points short, I was proud of how we played and happy with the third-place finish.
"Taylor Held had a very good tournament … showing her athleticism in playing multiple positions in order to block against our opponents' best attackers."
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