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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford versus Peace: a match to dive for

Two hours, five sets, one decision. On Wednesday Sept 2, Quaker volleyball recorded their first home match of the 2009 season as a victory over the Peace College Pacers; three sets to two.

The start of the match looked promising for the lady-Quakers. First-year Brittany Freeman contributed several vital kills to lead the Quakers to rapid victories in the first two sets, winning 25-11, 25-13. But a blowout quickly turned into a grudge match.

Both teams had undergone a change in between the second and third sets, and momentum shifted from the home bench to the visitors’ after the Pacers took a 7-1 lead.

The set continued as it started, ending in a 16-25 Quaker loss. The frustration became apparent.

“We were doing so well,” said sophomore Laura Kopald. “We became unfocused and lost our intensity in the third and fourth sets.”

Sophomore Mary Moody, the game’s Most Valuable Player, led the Quakers with 16 kills and 16 digs against the Pacers, and had several key kills in the fourth set to keep the Quakers in reaching distance.

Although the Quakers started to crawl back in the fourth set, it was too little to late, as they fell 25-23. The match was tied at two.

The fifth set began as the fourth ended, with the Quakers behind, and fighting their way back into the set. The Quakers found themselves running out of time. The fifth and final set was shorter than the first four: The first team to 15 would win the game.

“We thought we had it after the second set,” said Kopald. “We got caught off guard.”

The Quakers nor the Pacers took long to reach the decisive fifteen-point mark in the fifth set. However, in volleyball you must win by two.

In several Pacer match points, the Quakers prevailed with a strong defensive effort from junior Courtney Kozar, and senior Bethany Hawks. The defense, and a kill by Taylor Phillips at 17-17 led to an 18-17 lead.

The Quakers had the final knock-out punch when Taylor Phillips set-up Freeman for a game-winning kill.

“I thought the match was going to go on forever,” said sophomore fan Alexandria Miles. “It was nerve-wracking.”

Moody rallied and led the Quakers to their first victory of the season, winning 25-11, 25-13, 16-25, 23-25, 19-17.

“We did well the first and second sets,” said an exhausted Moody in a post-game interview. “We started slipping in the third and fourth but we managed to pull it together at the end.”

“It came down to who wanted it more,” said head coach Emily Gann.

With the confidence from the Sept. 2 match, the lady-Quakers were able to beat Greensboro College for the first time since 1997 on Sept. 5, in straight sets.

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