The Meadowdale Mavericks volleyball team hosted the Marysville-Getchell Chargers in the Mavs’ 2018 season home opener Tuesday night. The two teams played a closely contested four- game match. After dropping the first game, the Mavericks were able to win three straight to escape with a win.
In the first game. Meadowdale was in control for the majority of the contest, only to commit a handful of errors late to lose 25-23.
In each of the following two games, the visiting Chargers raced out to early leads, forcing Meadowdale to work their way back into position to win. In each case, the Mavericks took their first lead at 17-16, going on the win game 2 by a score of 25-22, and game three, 25-21.
Game four saw the two teams trade leads several times, but in the end the Lady Mavs were able to hold on and clinch the match with a 25-23 victory.
Meadowdale head coach Machen Shrum, who is beginning her 13th year as the head coach of the Mavericks, spoke after the game about the difference between the game -ne loss, and the victories in the subsequent games that led to their win.
“I wouldn’t say they were much different, but we did finish,” she said. “A little more discipline than what we had in the first game, perhaps, which was our goal tonight.”
She also attributed some of the struggles in putting away the Chargers with some early-season jitters and it being the first home game in front of a pretty raucous student section.
“We had a pretty good fan group in the first game, and they’ll need to get used to that,” she said. “We played outstanding in Oak Harbor last week, outstanding! We just have to carry that over every game. This was a little bit of a let down compared to that game in Oak (Harbor), but in the end, it’s a win.”
Kelsey Cummings led to Mavericks with 19 kills on the night, while Kaitlyn Robinson added 11 from the middle blocker position.
“She’s our go to. She’s solid in defense, she’s solid in leadership and hitting,” Shrum said of Cummings. “She’s definitely one of our top kids.
Shrum also pointed to the play of Kaitlyn Robinson. “She was just consistent,” she said. “She didn’t over play, just found some holes and was very confident in herself.”
Cummings also pitched in 17 digs and 4 ace serves. Sabrina Jahed led the team in digs with 23, while sophomore setter Adah Hall dished out 35 assists.
While being a young team on paper — just two seniors, two sophomores, and the rest juniors — the Mavericks return seven players who all saw varsity playing time last season.
“My expectation is that I’m going to be able to be a little bit harder on them on errors and those types of things that we’ll need to work through,” Shrum said of the seven. “I think we’ll be able to push through what this was tonight, which was a little off-tempo, a little slow. I do have high expectations because they do have more experience. There’s just a big difference from being a sophomore and a junior. I expect us to take a big jump from tonight to Thursday night when we play Bothell.”
The 2-0 Mavericks’ next game will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, vs. the Cougars starting at 7 p.m. at Meadowdale High School.
— Story and photos by Scott Williams