Quick turnarounds: Just as fast as Gladstone gets in match, Gwinn turns momentum for 4-set win

Gwinn’s Brooke Mannor bumps the ball as teammate Larissa Wixstrom, right, readies to assist in a high school volleyball match against Gladstone on Tuesday evening at the Modeltowners’ gym. (Journal photos by Corey Kelly)

“We pulled it back together in the fourth set and we were able to keep the momentum and energy on our side.” — Toni Roberts, head coach, Gwinn volleyball

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GWINN — Brenna Bruce had eight kills and 12 assists for Gwinn, which overcame a third-set lull before defeating new league foe Gladstone in four sets in a Mid-Peninsula Conference volleyball match held at the Modeltowners gym on Tuesday night.

The Modeltowners improved to 2-0 with the 25-17, 25-17, 19-25, 25-21 victory.

“My team played great and I can’t complain about how they played,” Gwinn head coach Toni Roberts said. “We took the first two, lost the third, but they overcame it and took the fourth set as well.

“It was our first time seeing Gladstone as an M-PC opponent, so it was a great first-time battle with them.”

Gladstone head coach Mariah Yonker said that while she wishes her team could have forced a fifth set, she’s satisfied with her team’s performance.

“I’m really glad with how we played,” she said. “We have lots to work on, but overall, Gwinn was a really good team to see.”

The score was close early in the first set until the Modeltowners used a 6-0 run to extend a 13-8 advantage into an 11-point lead. Gwinn took set point on a service error.

Gladstone (1-1) jumped out early in Set 2, 8-4, before another Modeltowners run capped off by a kill from Trisha McGuire tied tie the set 8-8. It became a 7-0 streak as Gwinn regained the lead and went from there.

The Braves rebounded in Set 3 with a dominating performance, including a dominant 23-15 lead, which would prove to be their largest of the night. Though Gwinn tacked on four more points, Gladstone held on for the set.

Yonker said her team made vast improvements as the match went on.

“The first two sets, our serves really hurt us and I think they realized that after I told them multiple times it was our serves that were getting us,” she said. “They picked that up really well, and in the third game, they were able to read Gwinn and pick everything up.

“They saw holes, they knew where to put the ball and it was great.”

The Modeltowners turned it around immediately in what proved to be the final set, racing to a 7-1 lead. With Gwinn still leading 19-14, the Braves made a 4-0 run to pull within one point before Bruce had a kill to deny Gladstone the tie. The home team fended off the Braves the rest, ending the set and match with a Brooke Mannor kill.

“The first two sets were solid on our part; we communicated really well,” Bruce said. “The third set we kind of lost it a little bit and we lost our energy, but we pulled it back together in the fourth set and we were able to keep the momentum and energy on our side.”

McGuire finished with three kills and 13 assists, Mannor had five kills and Gwinn teammate Emily Curtice added five kills and one assist. Statistics weren’t available for Gladstone.

Gwinn doesn’t return to the court for another match until Sept. 7 at home vs. Iron Mountain. The Braves travel to Westwood for on Thursday.

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.