Frostburg, Md. ...
Western Maryland fought off two Frostburg State match points in the fourth game and rode the momentum to a win in the fifth and deciding game as the Green Terror edged the Bobcats, 3-2 (31-33, 30-15, 30-22, 34-32, 15-6), in the season-opening match for both teams Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Arena.
Playing under a new scoring format in which the first four games are played with rally scoring to 30, the teams battled through a nail-biter of a first game, which the Bobcats pulled out, 33-31. FSU trailed, 21-19, and 29-27, before rallying for the win.
However, the Bobcats couldn't keep their energy up in game two, as the Green Terror scored 10 straight points to blow open a 9-8 lead en route to the 30-15 victory.
Frostburg State (0-1) regrouped in the third game and overcame an early 4-1 deficit behind the serving of freshman Lauren Petrick (Denton, Md./North Caroline), who served six straight winners to give the Bobcats a 15-6 lead. Western Maryland stormed back to close to within 21-20, but junior Stacy Bureau (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) helped the Bobcats rip off seven of the next eight points as FSU took a 30-22 win to go up 2-1.
The young Bobcats, with 11 newcomers on the 12-player squad, fell behind early again in game four, as the Green Terror jumped out to an 8-1 lead. But, FSU slowly crept back into the game, scoring 10 of the next 13 points to tied things up. The teams then traded four-point runs for a 15-15 tie before Western Maryland moved out to a 27-22 lead.
After a time out, Frostburg State responded with four straight points, including three of the serving of freshman Carrie Ness (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key), to pull to within one, 27-26. The Bobcats held 29-28 and 30-29 leads but could not string a pair of points together to win the match. Western Maryland rallied for a 31-30 and 33-32 advantages before finally fending off the Bobcats, 34-32, to force a deciding match.
The Green Terror wasted no time in the fifth match, quickly opening an 8-0 lead. Freshman Jen Vance (Mt. Savage, Md./Fort Hill) drilled a kill to put the Bobcats on the board, but the hosts ran out of steam at the end as Western Maryland posted the 15-6 victory.
"I thought we played aggressive and tough defensively," said Bobcat first-year head coach Jeff Billington, who was without his 5-10 middle blocker and whose 5-11 middle blocker played despite a shoulder injury. "With such a young team (seven freshmen), we've got to work on controlling our emotional level. We lost focus at times on the court, and that's something we are going to have to work on."
Petrick led FSU with 15 kills and 17 digs, while Vance had 14 kills and 19 digs. Ness posted 40 assists and 18 digs.
The Bobcats return to action on Monday in a tri-match with Pitt-Bradford and Elizabethtown at Bobcat Arena. FSU takes on Pitt-Bradford in the AMCC opener for both teams at 11:00 a.m. before facing Elizabethtown at 3:00 p.m. Pitt-Bradford and Elizabethtown will play at 1:00 p.m.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303