As has been the case so often coach Caryl Schawe has her team playing at another level and on the march. Saturday they advanced to the regional semifinals by beating Middletown Bishop Fenwick 25-23, 25-12, 22-25 and 25-23. The win improves the Spartans to 17-8 and gives them yet another district title.
“We got blown out in one game, but a break here and there and things could have been different,” Fenwick coach Yoon Ha said. “I am very proud of the girls.”
The changing moment in this match came very early, but the effect lasted the entire match. Down 11-8 in the first game; the Spartans rallied behind the service of Chelsea Hoffmann, tying the game at 12-12. From that point Bacon took control of the match and except for a brief lapse in the third game, never gave it back.
“Honestly, I thought the turning point was the first game because they got up early and we were able to come back,” Schawe said.
The early going for Bacon was a rough ride but eventually things settled down and the Spartans settled in. Chelsea Hoffman led Bacon with 15 kills and Alli Wilson added 14, leading the Spartan charge.
Fenwick wasted little time jumping on Roger Bacon taking a 7-3 advantage behind the service hitting of Lindsay Garriga. But that was the high point of the game for the Falcons.
Bacon tied it at 12-12, took the advantage at 16-15 and kept pushing to 25. After trading points back and forth, the Spartans made a quick two point run and had a 23-20 lead. That was the crack Bacon was looking for as they won the first game 25-23.
“Fenwick came to play today and had nothing to lose with only one senior on the floor today,” Schawe said. “Fenwick is a much improved team with coach Ha taking over the program.”
In the second game the lack of experience for Fenwick showed up. The Falcons were unable to shake the disappointment of a the first game defeat and it was costly in the second game.
Bacon got up 5-1 and cruised from there. The advantage went to 17-9 and the writing was on the wall, this game belonged to Roger Bacon. The Spartans won 25-12 and were up 2-0 in the match.
Now thinking about a 3-0 sweep the Spartans headed out for the third game.
The problem was nobody told Fenwick that the match was over. The Falcons came out refocused and determined to force a fourth game and they did.
The Falcons nabbed a 6-3 advantage, but quickly lost it as the game was tied at 6-6. From that point on the third game was similar to the first, with the two teams trading points. Neither was able to gain separation and it was clear the first one to put together any type of run would be in control.
Unlike the first game, Fenwick made the run and it ended the game. The Falcons turned a 22-22 game into a 25-22 victory.
Despite the game three victory Fenwick was still down 2-1 and facing elimination with a loss. On the other side, Bacon was desperate to avoid a fifth game, where anything can and often does happen.
The status quo of trading points was again the rule in the fourth game, as neither team gained more than a two point advantage.
But, it was Bacon that held the two point lead most of the time and more important they had it late. Eventually the Spartans went up 24-23 and finally reached 25, winning the game 25-23 and the match 3-1.
The win sends Roger Bacon to the regional semi-final at Wilmington where they play the second of two matches on Wednesday night.