Frazier volleyball team survives challenge from Geibel
It wasn't easy, but the Frazier girls volleyball team kept their perfect Section 5-A record intact with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over visiting Geibel on Thursday. The Commodores won 25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 25-18 to remain atop the section standings.
“We served aggressive and played good defense,” Frazier coach Mandy Hartman said.
Hartman acknowledged that beating Geibel certainly came with a high degree of difficulty.
“They are a great volleyball team, and I have no idea how they have three losses,” Hartman said.
It was the second time this season that the Gators have lost to the Commodores in four sets. However, this one was particularly disappointing for Geibel coach Rick Watkins.
“We didn't have enough courage,” Watkins said. “We just withered against adversity. We just didn't have enough heart.”
The Gators had to feel like they let a match get away.
Frazier started strong. Kelsey Holp knocked down some big serves in the first set before Cassidy Guiser jammed home some key kills to help the Commodores take the first set. Guiser finished with a team-high 16 service points and 16 kills, and Jamie Muccioli recorded a team-high 18 assists.
“Cassidy Guiser really stepped up,” Hartman said. “She put the ball down. She is a leader, and when we need a point, we look to her to get it. Jamie Muccioli did a fantastic job setting. We didn't pass well, but she made our bad passes look awesome.”
Alexandra Chuboy and Holp finished with 15 and 13 service points, respectively, for Frazier (7-1, 7-0). Dyanna Shaporka netted seven kills.
The Commodores started fast, but the Gators regrouped and came back with a strong second set. The set went back and forth before the Gators pulled away late. Some big shots by Rachel Elias, Riley Bocan and Kylee Soberdash helped the Gators (4-3, 4-3) secure the tie. Elias led Geibel with 11 kills. Bocan and Soberdash each finished with five kills. Bocan also added 22 digs. Ashley Tomasko notched 11 assists to go along with three aces. Haley Solan had 16 assists. Morgan Dewitt posted 12 digs, and Kaylee Ermine finished with five aces.
With the match tied at a game apiece, Frazier built a 10-3 lead in the third set, only to see Geibel rattle off an 11-0 run to take a 14-10 lead. But the Commodores found their footing and battled back with a 15-5 run that culminated in a set-winning tip at the net by Alena Blaszczak.
For the Gators, letting the third set slip away proved costly.
“The story in a nutshell was unforced errors,” Watkins said. “We had way more unforced errors. We just don't hate losing enough. We've got the tools here, but our problems are between the ears.”
After coming back to take the second set, the Commodores built a huge lead in the fourth frame. Geibel cut Frazier's edge to 21-16, but Guiser halted the rally with a big kill and Frazier completed the victory.
“We stayed the course, and it was important for us to maintain our focus,” Hartman said. “We played with a lot of heart and a lot of effort.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at email@example.com.