By: Dr. Richard Midcap, President
McHenry, MD – Garrett College seemed headed for an easy sweep after 25-12 and 25-14 victories in Monday night's women's volleyball match against visiting Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Closing out the Black Bears, however, proved to be anything but easy.
GC freshman middle blocker Colleen Kemp converted a kill off Sami Kennell's quick set to break a 20-20 tie in the hard-fought third set. Kemp then served out the final four points of the match as the Lakers (6-4) snapped a two-match losing streak and improved to 4-0 at home.
"I was really nervous at the end," admitted Kemp, who credited Kennell (21 assists, 5 aces) with helping her register 7 kills. "Sami sets me perfectly every time."
"She's a real spark for our team," GC head coach Kim Windstein Harsch said of Kemp. "We really rely on her to bring up the energy level."
Kemp's clutch serving to close out the match was aided by fellow freshman middle blocker Jada Maxwell, who also saved her best for last. Maxwell, who registered a team-high 10 kills, had the finishing hit on the final three points of the match.
"Jada did a really good job of seeing the court," said Windstein Harsch. "There was a real gap in the middle of the defense and she took advantage of that."
While PHCC hung tough in the third set, Maxwell said she was confident the Lakers would pull out the victory.
"I knew we could win," said Maxwell, who credited her teammates with "playing with more chemistry" late in the third set.
"Lauryn Moon is just so consistent for us," said Windstein Harsch. "She's constantly producing good passes and playing good defense."
While the third set featured five ties and a couple of lead changes, Garrett trailed for a grand total of just one point in the first two sets. That quick start helped the Lakers rebound from straight-set losses to Cecil College and Potomac State College of West Virginia University last Friday night in a tri-match.
"It was good the girls could put that [Friday night's defeats] behind them and come back with a win," said Windstein Harsch.
Notes: The Lakers also swept Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, 25-13, 25-9, 25-8, at PHCC in their season opener last month.
Garrett returns to Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference action Thursday night with a 6 p.m. match at Harford Community College. The Lakers, currently 3-3 in Maryland JuCo, host conference foe Anne Arundel Community College Saturday at 1 p.m.