Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 9:03 am | Updated: 9:26 am, Wed Sep 7, 2016.
By Joe Williams • Sports Editor
It took five sets in front of a rowdy and appreciative crowd for Ravenwood to regain the second spot in District 11-AAA volleyball with a 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 25-22 16-14 win at Franklin Tuesday evening.
“We respect Franklin so much,” said Lady Raptor coach Wendy Munzel, “and we lost twice to them last year. Tonight, we just wanted to come in and make sure we took care of business.”
Ravenwood took the first set on the strength of four different four-point runs before the Rebels answered by taking the next two sets, putting Ravenwood’s back to the wall.
“My girls are resilient,” said Munzel. “They are just starting to trust each other. I think we’re really getting into a routine where we know what to expect from each other.”
Franklin was dominating in the fourth set, turning a 4-2 early deficit into a 22-18 lead before watching as Ravenwood reeled off seven straight points to win the set.
Franklin coach Amber Holzer was more than disappointed.
“We were ahead four or five points and we could have and should have closed it out," she said. "But we lost focus and we stopped doing our jobs the way we needed to and that put us in a fifth set."
“When a team gets comfortable they can stop focusing on all the little things, like understanding both their primary responsibility and their secondary responsibility. They stop processing the game that way and start thinking ‘we’ve already won this game,’ and start looking ahead to the next game instead of the next point.”
The fifth set was a nail-biter, as was expected. Franklin’s early 4-1 lead became a 5-4 Lady Raptor lead and the two teams were never separated by more than two points after that. In the end, the Lady Raptors got a pair of quick points to break a 14-14 tie and take the match.
“Both teams played really well tonight and we can’t be disappointed with the way we played in the fifth set,” said a disappointed Holzer. “I’d rather lose to a team like Ravenwood early in the season so we can fix the things we need to so we can beat them the next time."
Munzel was happy to get out of the Lady Rebels’ gym with a victory.
“Franklin’s always a hostile environment,” she said with an appreciative smile. “But we love them and respect them. It’s so hard because the girls all play together during club season so they know each other, they know what to expect.
“There’s some really good volleyball being played in our district and on any given day any team can win. We’re just taking one match at a time.”