After starting the season with a road victory at Wingate, the East Mountain High School volleyball team stumbled in its Aug. 26 home opener, losing 3-0 (17-25, 11-25, 20-25) to the Socorro Lady Warriors.
“I think it was just first-home-game jitters,” East Mountain head coach Kasi Giovenco said. “We did very well at Wingate, but it seems like, at our home games, they always get those first-game jitters and they just kind of crumble mentally within themselves.”
In all three games, the Lady Timberwolves tallied a few attack kills, a couple of serving aces, several digs—and at the beginning of each set, they went toe-to-toe with Socorro.
But in each game, Socorro put together long stretches of serving points to forge ahead and stifle the T’Wolves.
“I think the girls get on a roller coaster and they need to get off and play their game, and today they just didn’t get off that roller coaster,” Giovenco said.
Midway through the first game, Katie Tetreault’s tapper fell untouched to the floor, capping a three-point spurt for East Mountain.
But Socorro answered with six consecutive serve points and never looked back.
At the start of the second set, with Tetreault serving, the Lady T’Wolves jumped ahead for a brief 4-1 advantage.
But Socorro responded with eight-straight serve points to take the lead for good.
The third set was East Mountain’s best, as the game was tied early at 2-2, 4-4, and 7-7.
With East Mountain’s Virginia Millsap serving, the Lady T’Wolves won a lengthy rally to inch ahead 9-8.
But Socorro regained the momentum and the lead.
Trailing 14-19 later in the set, Millsap’s serving once again helped East Mountain as the Lady T’Wolves cut the deficit to 18-19.
But the Lady Warriors fired off five unanswered points on their way to winning the set and the match.
“Our girls weren’t capitalizing when they needed to capitalize, and like I said, it was a mental thing,” Giovenco said, adding, “All of our girls have the skill to dominate and they just didn’t come with that never-give-up attitude that Socorro brought tonight, so it’s a learning curve for them.”
East Mountain’s next match is at Santa Rosa on Aug. 31.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.