MAPLE HEIGHTS — You’ll have to excuse Lorain if it was a little greedy Thursday.
After losing the final match last season and having to share the Lake Erie League title with Maple Heights, the Titans went out and claimed the outright championship all for themselves with a 25-21, 25-10, 16-25, 25-17 win over the Mustangs on the last night of the regular season.
“We were nervous and anxious about the game, which makes sense coming here because they always bring a lot of fans because it was their Senior Night,” Lorain coach Chantille Jackson said.
“I’m really proud of them staying together, sticking it out and working really hard until the end.”
It didn’t look like Lorain (17-5, 12-0 LEL) was going to have to work hard at all after rolling out to a 13-2 lead in the first set. Emily Van Horn started the night with six service points and Seven Townsel followed with a fove-point run, including three aces.
Maple Heights (16-6, 10-2) did bounce back to cut the lead to 22-19, but the Titans were never really in danger of dropping the game. Kills from Lailah Carrion, Sydney Patterson and a tip-kill from Townsel finished off the win.
The second set started out tight with the Titans holding a 7-6 lead before outscoring the Mustangs 18-4 down the stretch for a commanding 2-0 lead.
Lorain had plenty of help from the Mustangs in Game 2 as half the points came on hitting or service errors. Carrion had a pair of service points, Williams had six, including an ace, and Marissa Sturgill picked up five points, one on an ace.
The Mustangs weren’t quite ready to hand the league championship over to the Titans yet, however, as they won the third game. But there was no 2-0 collapse in the Titans’ future as they turned another close game into a championship.
“We gave it away and we knew we shouldn’t have,” Carrion said about the third game. “Overall, we knew we should have done better. We knew in our minds that we could do this and not give away points again.”
With the score tied at 6, a pair of Maple Heights mistakes, coupled with tip-kills by Patterson and Townsel, sparked a run that gave Lorain a 13-7 lead.
The Mustangs made one last surge, cutting the lead to one, but the Titans grabbed the championship trophy for good thanks to blocks from Townsel and Williams along with a tip-kill from the same pair.
“We were down and got back up, that’s the only thing that matters,” said Townsel, who finished with 18 kills, 20 digs and three block-kills. “Everybody was a leader today, not on person. Everybody did what they were supposed to do. It was beautiful, honestly.
“We were co-champs last year, but not this year. It wasn’t going to happen my senior year. I wanted to go out and win something for my team and leave something for them to look up to.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.