MEAD — Already up two sets on Frederick Tuesday night at the Mead High School gymnasium, most would have shrugged off a third set defeat for the Mavericks and chalked it up as a small hiccup in an otherwise strong performance.
The Mavericks on the court didn’t see it that way, though. Not with the standards they have set for themselves.
As such, the fire inside grew. Down 22-12 in Set 3 against the Warriors, Mead marched forward with intensity and somehow, some way, managed to make a full comeback to complete an unlikely sweep in the Tri-Valley League matchup. A seven-point run closed the gap and got Frederick on its heels, and the Mavericks slowly took over to post a 26-24, 25-19, 28-26 victory.
The door to that run might have been opened by a scoring gaffe that never was changed, giving Mead a chance to do something they had failed to do in the first meeting between the teams as well as against rivals Windsor and Roosevelt.
“It’s pretty big to come back and win against them,” said senior Allison Majerus. “We finished a lot better tonight than we have been. This win will make us push harder, because we know we can beat other teams (in the league). We just have to push harder and keep our momentum throughout the whole game.”
Talk about finishing, and one could point directly to Majerus on this night. She had seven kills, which did not lead her team, yet several of those vicious points came near the end of all three games. A pair of kills of Set 1, sandwiched by spikes from Maddie Uilk and Mikayla Martinez, helped the Mavericks rally from down 24-22 to post a momentum-grabbing win, and the hosts carried that confidence over to the second set as they led the entire way in that one.
Majerus continued to dominate the floor in other areas, too. She had 16 digs and a pair of blocks, but also served exceptionally well with four aces. Two of those aces came in Set 3 as part of that seven-point spurt to bring Mead within a point in the eventual closeout game.
“We’ve been working hard at not making errors in critical situations,” said head coach Rachael Ayers, whose team improved to 10-3 overall and 6-3 in league. “I was really proud of the way they captured the moment (in Set 3), and didn’t get down and just fought until they got back in it. So encouraging for us to see.
“Allison is one of the girls that plays six rotations on the court, and she’s there for a reason. She’s got great senior leadership, and she’s changing and elevating her game a little bit.”
The match was highlighted by plenty of extended plays from the back row on each side, but may have been marred with a scoring error that perhaps prevented Frederick from extending the night. Frederick coach Jamie Bradt disputed the score when her team held a 16-13 lead — she thought it should have been 17-12, and a running score by BoCoPreps.com had that total as well — but the officials converged and accepted the 16-13 score.
The way it played out, Frederick scored enough points to hold a 25-20 win; however, because of the discrepancy Mead was able to post the improbable rally.
After the game, Bradt was not concerned with the official score but more so the way her team allowed the comeback to occur.
“Beyond that whole issue, you have an eight-point lead or whatever it was, and you still can’t pull out a win, it comes down to what we did wrong,” Bradt said after her team moved to 6-4 on the season. “We did not play our defense well. We’re in a little bit of a slump right now. … We have to figure out what our problems are and how to get out of it before next week. This was an important game for us, and we didn’t come in prepared.”
Mead was led by Martinez and Morgan Brim with eight kills apiece. Frederick also got eight kills from Brooklin LeBon. Freshman Macy Bourn also played a huge role for Mead, converting five aces on the serve.
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MEAD 3, FREDERICK 0
At Mead HS
Frederick (6-4, 3-4) 24 19 26
Mead (10-3, 6-3) 26 25 28
Kills — Frederick: Brooklin LeBon 8, Jessica Wedel 6, Abbi Arneson 4; Mead: Mikayla Martinez 8, Morgan Brim 8, Allison Majerus 7, Maddie Uilk 6.
Blocks — Frederick: Alexis Dominguez 2; Mead: Uilk 2, Majerus 2.
Assists — Frederick: Not available; Mead: Brim 20, Cassie Hedger 6.
Aces — Frederick: LeBon 3, Wedel 2; Mead: Macy Bourn 5, Majerus 4.
Digs — Frederick: Not available; Mead: Kailey Klibbe 20, Majerus 16, Bourn 10.