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Campus News

September 18th, 2023

GC nets dramatic win over Black Bears

Lady Lakers pull out 5-set thriller by going into 'attack mode'

Volleyball vs PHCC

Garrett College's strategy Thursday night against Pennsylvania Highlands Community College could be summed up in a single word.


The Lady Lakers – who had just seven kills in a straight-set loss to the College of Southern Maryland four days earlier – amassed 29 kills against Penn Highlands. That aggressiveness played a key role in Garrett College's 18-25, 25-17, 25-13, 22-25, 15-10 women's volleyball win.

"We were on the attack a lot and we had some really good kills," said GC head coach Brittany Jackson. "They pushed through the five games, played hard, played smart, and played as a team."

GC freshman outside/middle hitter Aiyana Yoder had a team-high nine kills. Outside hitter Daphne Harman, the lone sophomore returner from last year's 0-18 squad, added seven kills.

"It was great – the best experience I've had," said Harman. "I have high expectations for the rest of the season."

Penn Highlands, seemingly on the ropes, finished with a 5-1 run to claim Set 4 and force a deciding fifth set. The Black Bears scored five straight points to take a 7-5 lead in the final set, but GC responded with a 6-0 run – the last two points on consecutive aces from Brookelyn Keller (nine digs) – to go in front to stay.

Lady Laker Sadie Portillo clinched the match in style, firing an ace for the final point, setting up a huge celebration of the GC side of the net.

"I was nervous," admitted Portillo, who had a team-high 11 digs. "I was just praying I would get it over the net."

Jackson said Portillo's final play was indicative of her performance throughout the match.

"Sadie was definitely our first line of defense in the back, chasing down balls, diving to the court – she just wouldn't let anything fall in," said Jackson.

Freshman Alexia Wolf, playing her first season as a setter, finished with 18 assists for the Lady Lakers.

"Alex did a great job leading the offense," said Jackson. "She was smart with her choices, setting the hot hitter, playing hard, and going after every ball."

"It's completely different than playing outside hitter," observed Wolf. "It's fun, it's a challenge, and I'm enjoying it."

Neither Wolf nor Penn Highlands setter Autumn Montgomery were enjoying an inordinate amount of double hits called on both teams. Wolf said the key for her was trying to keep her composure while dealing with the tight officiating.

"It was like a roller coaster, but we got everything together eventually," said Wolf, who matched teammate Lily Fialkovic for team-high with five service aces.

GC wasted early 6-3 and 7-4 leads in Set 1 as Penn Highlands (0-2) scored 21 of the set's final 31 points.

The Lady Lakers tied the match with their 25-18 win in Set 2, aided by a Penn Highlands service rotation error that increased what would have been a 21-18 GC advantage to 22-17. Wolf then threw down an ace, Harman earned a key point with an incredible dig, and a dink attempt by Black Bear Taylor Rapsky (match-high 18 kills) went wide.

"An out-of-rotation violation – that can really shift momentum of the game," observed Jackson.

GC dominated the third set, blowing out to 5-1 and 14-5 leads. Penn Highland's fourth-set win set the stage for a Set 5 showdown.

"It feels great because it was an earned win," said Jackson. "Honestly, it could have gone either way. This team worked hard and they earned it."

AACC 3, Garrett College 0

Hagerstown 3, Garrett College 0

Hagerstown, MD – The Lady Lakers (1-4 overall, 0-2 league) dropped a pair of Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference matches on Saturday at Hagerstown Community College.

Anne Arundel Community College (5-2, 3-2) posted a 25-12, 25-11, and 25-22 victory over Garrett College. Undefeated host Hagerstown (8-0, 6-0) defeated the Lady Lakers, 25-11, 25-8, and 25-11.

The Lady Lakers are scheduled to play at Carroll Community College Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Women's Soccer

CSM 4, Garrett College 1

La Plata, MD – Keyara Rhodes had the only Lady Laker goal in last Tuesday's loss at the College of Southern Maryland.

Zoi Whitsett scored 15:44 into the game and Natalie Schiavonne tallied twice as CSM (3-2-1, 2-0-1) built a 3-0, first-half lead. Megan Hinton (goal, assist) scored 10:20 into the second half to make it 4-0.

Rhodes' unassisted goal, with 1:39 remaining, averted a shutout.

Ashley Cox faced no Lady Laker shots while playing goal in the first half for CSM. Schiavonne had one save while playing the second half in the net and allowed Rhodes' late goal.

Lady Laker goaltender Sara Tabuena made eight saves while facing 12 CSM shots.

GC dropped to 1-2.