Gophers Deflate Mustangs, Finish Unbeaten at Home

Gophers Deflate Mustangs, Finish Unbeaten at Home

Key to Thrilling Victory: 7-0 Opening Run to Decisive Fifth Set

October 21, 2008

TOWSON, Md. – The first four sets were extremely competitive with both teams having chances to win in each of them. For that reason, it was hardly a surprise that Goucher's match against Stevenson tonight in the Sports & Recreation Center would go to a fifth set.

What was a surprise was that one of the teams would suddenly seize complete control of the match by jumping out to a 7-0 lead when it counted the most. But that's exactly what head coach Michael Bossom's Gophers did as they prevailed 15-4 in the decisive fifth set to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over the visiting Mustangs (22-6).

Scores in the first four sets were 22-25, 25-21, 25-22, 23-25.

"This is a huge win for us as we try to build some momentum heading into the Landmark Conference tournament," proclaimed a beaming Bossom after the match. "It was also a great way to send out our two seniors playing the final home match of their careers."

The two seniors on Goucher's 2008 roster are Alex Lee (Santa Fe, N.M./Scarsdale) and Rachel Hirsen (Los Angeles, Calif./Buckley School).

The Mustangs never trailed in the opening set, which ended on a service error by Goucher. Just the reverse in the second set as the Gophers (15-14) led from start to finish, which was a kill by Megan Smith (Honolulu, Hawaii/Long Beach Polytechnic).

Goucher went ahead to stay in the third set on a kill by Questina Johnson (Parkville, Md./Parkville) that snapped a 9-9 tie, but it took a service error to prevent Stevenson from pulling into a 23-23 tie late in the set and then a hitting error to give the Gophers their 25th point.

Goucher nearly overcame a 22-18 deficit in the fourth set, getting as close as 24-23 on a kill by Smith.

Johnson, Catie Ditmore (Santa Barbara, Calif./Laguna Blanca) and Smith each had a kill early on in the fifth set before Claire Sauvage-Mar (New Delhi, India/American Embassy School) and Carolyn Crissey (Philadelphia, Pa./Creative & Performing Arts) combined on a lethal block that capped the 7-0 opening run. The Mustangs never scored a point off one of their serves in the final set and Smith brought the match to an end with the last of her 24 kills.

Kasey Quinn (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) led the Gophers in digs (25) and Sauvage-Mar was credited with 45 assists.

The win allowed the Gophers to finish undefeated at home this season. The 5-0 record in the SRC in 2008 also extended their home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 12 matches.