Class A Volleyball :Strasburg closes strong, defeats Luray 3-1

By : Scoop Carter
Crystal Clear News

LURAY- Strasburg made some adjustments prior to Game 3 of its non-district Volleyball match against Luray Thursday night and those moves led to a 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-18,25-19) road victory for the Rams.

"Luray was doing a great job on covering the center of the court early on," Rams coach Suzanne Mathias said. "I asked our girls to start working on the back corners on their kills and that made the difference for us."

The opening game could not of been much closer as the biggest string of points was just three. Three times one of the teams tried to create a string of points and the final mini-run came when Strasburg (3-2) turned a 14-12 deficit into a 15-14 lead. The squads continued to trade points until Luray's Katie Cubbage scored a kill to pull the Bulldogs even at 23-23. Strasburg closed out the opener on back-to-back kills from Jacyln Ayers and Lauren Agnew with the final score being 25-23.

"Katie was a little under the weather tonight but she still gave us a solid effort," Luray head coach Julie Rothgeb said. "Our hitting was a little off most of the night and we know that we can play better."

Cubbage collected 5 kills and a block while leading the attack for the home team during game two of the match. Agnew answered with four big swings of her own as once again the two teams traded points in a fashion that would remind one of the way that the Nascar drivers trade paint in the Night Race at Bristol. The largest lead in game two was 20-15 Luray (7-1) and the Rams had one more answer in them.

Starsburg closed the gap to 24-23 on a second ball kill by Bethany Doman but Cubbage would even the match on her seventh kill of the night. Two games in the books and the scoreboard was 1-1 and total points were at 48-48. The third game was were the Rams started to take charge of the match.

Stephanie Conde scored in every manner possible early in game three as the junior collected a service winner, block, kill and another kill from the back row to push the visitors lead to 16-8. Ayers followed with a kill to make it 17-8 and Rothgeb called timeout to try and calm her troops.

Danielle Montgomery responded to her coaches words as the junior collected three late kills to keep the Bulldogs hopes alive. Her efforts didn't prevent the Rams from taking game 3 but they did get noticed by Rothgeb.

"Danielle has been doing a very good job for us when it comes to hitting the ball," Rothgeb noted. "Alison Ross is another player that is continuing to improve her game. I think tonight was her strongest game yet."

Mathias continued to ask her big hitters to work the corners in game four but once again Luray continued to stay in the game. Two straight aces from Lindsey Cummings pulled the Bulldogs even at 11-11 but Doman answered with three straight points on a kill and two service winners to give Strasburg some breathing room at 16-12.

Doman was there at the end of the match as well when the seniors kill pushed the lead to 23-19. Doman teamed with Conde to form a perfect double team block of the final Luray effort to secure the 25-19 victory...

NOTES FROM COACH SUZANNE :
*"We are still learning to trust one another on the floor and we will continue to improve as the season goes on"

*"Our service leaves some room for improvement. We will have to get stronger there if we want to compete.I think serving is the easiest part of the game and I am not sure if it is lack of focus or lack of experience for us right now."

*"We are still a very young VB team and we are working on re-enforcing that they can do it, That we can build what I want to build for our program."

NOTES FROM COACH JULIE :

*"The JV win was a big one for Coach Henry and her girls. She does a really good job with her program and that showed last year as they were district champs.

* "We will continue to improve as the season goes forward and we know that we can play better than we did tonight."

*After the game at Madison County on September 11TH, the Bulldogs will be off until the 23RD when they open Shenandoah District play vs. Stonewall Jackson

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