BOWIE – Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s volleyball team swept Bowie High School on the strength of a backline attack that kept the home team out of sorts for much of the evening, leading to a clean 3-0 victory on Oct. 11.
Bowie’s lengthy defense held Roosevelt’s hitters in check, but the Bulldogs struggled to pass the ball and generate quality returns. The Raiders cruised through the first two sets before squeaking out a 25-22 win in the final contest.
Jourdan Page led all of the players with 10 kills, including the game-winner in the first set. Mya Mitchell had six aces and four kills, finishing off the match with a spike and forming a strong tandem with Page that routinely created challenges for Bowie.
“(Page) and (Mitchell) are our two primary targets,” said Roosevelt Head Coach Scott Mitchell. “We talked about diversifying the offense, but when we need a point, we’re gonna go to them. (Page) got blocked a few times, Bowie is a huge team, but out of the back, she was money. (Mitchell) was money out of the back too, Bowie didn’t know how to defend that.”
Bowie ripped off five of the first six points to open the match, forcing a quick timeout. Roosevelt regrouped and scored the next eight points, led by five aces from sophomore libero Noemi Joachim. The Bulldogs would get within two multiple times during the first set, but untimely reception errors derailed each comeback attempt.
“We had trouble passing all night long,” said Bowie Head Coach Luanne Smith. “They were hitting well, don’t get me wrong, we just weren’t home all the time where we should’ve been. Passing was difficult all night.”
The second set was more of the same, a quick 10-0 run by Roosevelt after Bowie had scored the first point.
Mitchell had three aces during that stretch, though five of the points were centerline violations and wayward passes by the Bulldogs. Page finished the set with only two kills, bottled up by strong Bowie blocking and a few nice digs by Emilee Schmidt.
“I was trying just to play my game, trying to help my team by putting the ball down,” Page said.
The 25-10 loss put Bowie in a big hole, but Smith’s team rallied in the third set.
Kennedy Muldrow stymied a Roosevelt attack, and then Deeana Kee followed with an ace, along with two errors to give Bowie an early 4-0 lead. The Raiders answered with five straight points of their own, punctuated by a Chioma Ezuma kill, but Bowie hung tough and regained the lead 10-9 on a Schmidt ace.
The Bulldogs then faltered once again, letting a 19-18 deficit slip to 24-19 following four errors and a Chioma spike. A block by Cara Lewis and an ace by Schmidt inched the Bulldogs within two, but they would fall 25-22 to complete the sweep.
“We fought hard and we didn’t give up, so I’m proud of them for that,” Smith said. “We have work to do, obviously. Right now Roosevelt is the team to beat.”
Page and Mitchell were held to four combined kills in the third set, though they made them count. Page came along the left sideline and rose up for spike to tie the score at 16, ending what would be Bowie’s final lead. Mitchell had been held scoreless until the final rally, then came through with a kill to end the match.
“Tonight, we really held our own against Bowie,” Page said. “We came in expecting to do a good job and that’s what we did. Even though we had some times where they got on runs, we always made sure we held it together.”