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Volleyball: Magruder Defeats Good Counsel, 3-1

On the second serve with game-point at stake for Magruder, senior outside hitter Michelle Fowle was clobbered in the nose by the ball when it ricocheted off a Good Counsel block. She looked down to see a blood stain on her jersey, sniffed and readied for the next point -- because she knew the ball was coming back to her.

"I was hoping for it. I really wanted that last kill," Fowle said. "I can be selfish with my kills, and I really wanted it. Just give me the ball."

Fowle got the ball again and swung away with a strong hit on the left side for her 21st kill of the match to seal a 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21 victory over No. 3 Good Counsel at Kane Center in Olney. It marked the first regular season loss for the Falcons since 2007, when it dropped a match against St. Paul's School for Girls.

"I don't think it's a big secret [Fowle's] our hammer," Magruder Coach Scott Zanni said. "At match point when we were up 24-20 I told [setter] Xiaoyi [Li] she gets four swings. The ball was going to her. We're going to win or lose on her shoulders on game point."

Led by Fowle, junior outside hitter Molly Hirrlinger (13 kills) and setter Xiaoyi Li (47 assists) the Colonels (1-0) kick started their season by exacting some revenge on the Falcons (3-1) who defeated them last year at their home gym.

Magruder graduated its starting setter at the end of the 2008 season and has turned the offense over to Li, a junior who by her performance in scrimmages and this opening match appears poised to shoulder the responsibility.

"We just clicked," Fowle said of her setter. "She wasn't even here this summer, she was in China. When she got back right during tryouts, something clicked right away. She really has worked really hard and improved tremendously."

Good Counsel is also learning to adjust without the leaders of years past after All-Mets Becky West and Brighid Casey graduated. Unfortunately for the Falcons, their offense didn't click and they committed several unforced errors against Magruder. The Falcons also have 10 underclassmen, including sophomore setter Jennifer Morrissey, who are learning on the fly.

"I think our youth showed in this match," Falcons Coach Karen Kart said. "We did have some very bad ballhandling performances tonight, but we're really having a problem with game transition, and that shows with a very young setter. She's putting it all on her back and doing the best that she can. What we've lost with Brighid was somebody that was just a pure leader. What we're going to find out from this match up is who our leader is."

By Katie Carrera  |  September 8, 2009; 9:35 PM ET
Categories:  Good Counsel , Magruder , Montgomery County , Volleyball , WCAC  | Tags: Good Counsel, Karen Kart, Magruder, Michelle Fowle, Montgomery County, Scott Zanni, Volleyball, WCAC  
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The game was very exciting. except for a private school Good Counsel has a very rude student body section that needs to learn volleyball edict when people are serving.

Posted by: mabk4mk | September 9, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

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