After dropping their first set of the night to homestanding Republic on Tuesday, the Glendale Lady Falcons (2-2), armed with a young varsity roster full of fresh faces, played like proven veterans in the final two sets to steal a match victory over the Lady Tigers (6-3).
The Lady Falcons embraced their early adversity and answered the call with 25-21 and 25-20 set wins, respectively, to overcome a 25-21 first-set loss in which Glendale yielded eight consecutive points and eight of the final twelve points to Republic.
“We just knew we didn't play that well [in the first set],” Glendale junior Elizabeth Quinn said. “We missed a lot of serves and didn't go for a lot of balls, but we knew we could definitely come back and win, and play harder the next game.”
Despite giving up four straight points to begin the second set, the Lady Falcons rallied to knot the set at twelve and were aided by a heavy dose of kills by Quinn to pull ahead late and secure the victory.
Quinn was instrumental in the rubber set as well – continuing to frustrate shorthanded Republic up front and give Glendale a rather convincing 17-10 advantage at one point en route to a match-high 20-kill performance.
“She not only hit the ball when she needed to, she mixed it up,” Glendale head coach Stephanie Bates said of Quinn. “She had some really tricky and deceiving shots, so when you're playing defense those are hard to read.”
As the match crept closer to its conclusion, the Lady Falcons refused to give back what they gained over the past two sets – instilling a belief that the second win of the season was well within their grasp.
“You have to stay mentally tough and you have to know that you can win,” said Bates. “I think tonight was one of the first times where we were thinking 'We can beat this team, we can win.'”
With the score at 24-20, a loud delivery by Quinn that couldn't be returned spelled the end of the night for the Lady Tigers and commenced a well-deserved celebration for a young Glendale bunch.
Lady Falcons sophomore setter Gabby Birmingham led her team in assists with 24, while Birmingham and Quinn combined for 15 blocks on the evening.
“We've been working a lot on blocking,” Quinn added after the win. “That's all we've been doing in practice this past week. We blocked really well, especially the freshmen and sophomores. I was really proud of them.”
Republic, having to play without talented sophomore starters Lauren O'Hara and Abigail Williams, found itself in a difficult position when it came to adequate communication with new players on the court, according to head coach Piper Wright.
“I think we had a total breakdown in communication,” Wright said. “I just don't think we picked up those new people and communicated. We need to over-communicate when we have new people in there and I just don't think we did that.”
Glendale has a quick turnaround as it faces Parkview on the road tomorrow, while Republic travels to Mountain Grove on Thursday.