Golden Eagles put out thriller

Robert Blackford/Editor
Members of the Mercer County High School volleyball team huddle prior to the match with Ridgewood.

It was rough going on senior night for the Mercer County volleyball team but in the end they prevailed over a tough Ridgewood Spartan squad. The Golden Eagles won 16-25, 25-20 and 25-21.

Mercer County improved its record to 10-11 on the season while Ridgewood fell to 12-9.

The match looked in doubt late in the third game as Ridgewood went on a 6-0 run to close the Mercer County lead to one point at 22-21. The Golden Eagles got a big hit from Bailey Krstic to end the run and increase their lead to 23-21. The last two points game and the Golden Eagles earned the win.

"I've talked with the girls about going right back to what they do best when there's trouble," said Golden Eagle head coach Katie Jenkins. "It was great for the seniors to go out with a win. I'm thankful I've had all five of them for four years. It was Karly Matlick's first night back on the floor after injuring her knee. "There was never any question whether she was going to play. She was not going to miss Senior Night. I think if she would have broken it yesterday she wouldn't have told me and still went out on and played," said Jenkins. "She always gives 110 percent on the floor.

Jenkins added, "They all played hard. It was just a great team effort."

It was a rough start for the Golden Eagles though. In the first game the Spartans jump dout to a 10-4 lead early in the contest behind the serving of Molly Smith. The Golden eagles never quite recovered and fell 25-16 to Ridgewood.

In the second game Ridgewood jumped out to a 5-0  lead as Hanna Swanson picked up right where the Spartans had left off in the first game.

Rachel Hawk got the Golden Eagles going serving up five straight points tying the game at 6-6 on an ace.

The Golden Eagles has a couple of small runs behind the serving of Hannah Kirkhove and Krstic. Middle Hitter Kimi Nelson also had key hits during the run as Mercer County outscored Ridgewood 11-4 through the middle of the match and ahead 22-15.

Krstic got the big hit the did in the Spartans.

In the third game Krstic continued to pound out the hits running up a 9-5 lead.

Ridgewood cut the lead to 12-11 at one point but couldn't tie the match. Golden Eagle Hannah Kirkhove reeled off six straight points pushing Mercer County out to a 19-11 lead.