CLEAR SPRING —The Clear Spring volleyball team won its Maryland Class 1A West first-round match against the Brunswick Railroaders 25-20, 25-13, 25-15 on Thursday, giving first-year coach Sabrina Lee her first playoff win with the Blazers.
Game 1 started as a back-and-forth affair, until Clear Spring extended its lead from 6-5 to 12-6 on Jessica Long’s service.
Brunswick came back with six points to pull within 17-12, but Clear Spring scored two more points, leading to a Brunswick timeout. The Blazers (6-9) and Railroaders (3-13) once again went back and forth, until a kill by freshman Kristen Mellott set up game point at 24-15. Brunswick clawed back to 24-20 on the service by Kristin Long, but a net ball by Brunswick gave Clear Spring the game.
“The biggest thing we can take away from this match is confidence,” said Lee. “Our girls can play at a higher level and they need to know that. We’re playing our best ball right now, and we can’t stop.”
The Blazers used a pair of four-point services by Sarah Elwood and Alexa Mills to jump out to an 8-1 lead in Game 2. And they didn’t look back, winning the game on a kill by Jessica Long, who had 12 service points, nine digs and two kills for the match.
Game 3 started with another run by the Blazers, as they took a 6-2 lead, highlighted by four points by Mills. A rally at 12-8 was won by the Blazers on a kill by Emily Winters, sending Clear Spring into a frenzy. A net ball by Brunswick got the Blazers to match point, and a wide return ended the match.
“Our focus is to keep our opponent at a 2-3 point run max,” Lee said. “We’ve had these glimpses of greatness. We want to stretch those out into episodes. If we can keep this winning trend, the future looks brighter.”
Mills had 11 service points, 19 digs and three kills, Mellott had 12 kills and three blocks, Sarah Blickenstaff had 10 digs and Elwood had a team-high 13 assists.
Clear Spring will travel to Mountain Ridge in a quarterfinal match Monday at 7 p.m.