Sanderson volleyball head coach Pam Tart says she wants to see her team put the past behind them and concentrate on the moment. And that is exactly what they did Tuesday night.
The Spartans erased an early two set deficit to rally and beat cross-town and conference rival Millbrook 3-2.
“The loss earlier in the season over at Millbrook really hurt us. We worked hard to focus on the moment coming into tonight’s match,” Sanderson coach Pam Tart said. “We knew that a potential playoff berth could be on the line tonight as we finish the season.”
Millbrook (6-8, 5-5 Cap-8 4A) came out strong and won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-22. The Wildcats seemed to have the Spartans (11-8, 6-4) on their heels coming out for the third set but Sanderson rebounded with a 25-22 third set win.
In the fourth, Millbrook appeared to be in control and well on their way to victory. But with an early 18-10 lead, the Wildcats could not hold off the Spartans. Behind the on court leadership of senior Krissy Thompson, Sanderson fought back to tie the set at 24-24 and eventually even the match with a fourth set win, 26-24.
The Wildcats seemed to have the air taken out of their sails coming out in the fifth and final set. Sanderson was in control the entire set, securing the come from behind win 15-10.
“We have young athletes on this team that need to learn how to win with the lead and seal the victory,” said Millbrook coach Julee Dickens. “Our team needs to learn how to win moments, win sets, and win the match.”
THEY SAID IT
“This is the first five set match we have won all year,” said Tart. “We have started off slow all year and we seem to finish strong.”
BY THE NUMBERS
5: Number of sets it took for Sanderson to defeat the Wildcats and the number of lead changes in the second half of the fourth set.
18-10: Deficit that the Spartans had to overcome in the fourth set to come back and eventually win the set and match.
4: Number of matches left for each team in the conference before the playoffs begin.
Sanderson looks to continue their four-match winning streak on Thursday, as they host Cap 8 conference foe Wakefield.
Millbrook travels across town for its second consecutive road match and hopes to end its two-game skid when they face the Enloe Eagles Thursday evening.