April 6, 2020
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Raptor Report – MC Volleyball Tournament Highlights

After sweeping the first day of the Raptor
Invitational Tournament with dominant wins over the Community College of Rhode Island. Howard and the College of Southern Maryland,
the MC Raptors took on D2 rival the Potomac State Catamounts in the tournament semi-finals. The undefeated Raptors jumped out to a quick
first set lead, behind front line play like this combo block from Linel Perez and Keyshiana
Fennicks and this nice little back line shot from Anna Chepurnova that found the donut
and another Fennicks’ block. But Potomac State is very talented team and
they eventually tied it at 19. But MC stayed strong, took a 25-24 lead on
a Chepurnova kill and then took the set on a Taliyah Huss ace. Potomac State bounced back to take the second
set 25-23 and tie the match at one apiece. The third set was another tight one. Potomac State led early, but MC bounced back
to take the lead, with a backline Chepurnova kill part of the run. And they held it the rest of the way helped
by plays like this Isabel Nelligan kill and then another Chepurnova kill after a great
Skyler Thiessen dig and a perfect set from Anna Grace Bladen to take the set 25-23 to
lead 2-1. But Potomac State didn’t wilt. They led most of the fourth set, eventually
building a 20-14 lead. But MC began to chip away, cutting it to 22-20
after a Keturah Gregory block and a Bladen set for the Nelligan kill. And then tied it at 23 on a Fennicks block
and then took the set 25-23 after an acrobatic Thiessen dig/set combo and a kill from Fennicks,
to take the match 3 sets to 1 and move into the finals. Because of the way Day 1 competition played
out, MC wound up facing the Catamounts again in the finals. And the Raptors wasted little time jumping
on top in the first set, another Chepurnova kill after a Talyah Huss set quickly made
it 7-2 MC. Another Huss set for Chepurnova made it 12-3
Raptors and a Perez block made it 19-9 MC. And an ace from Nelligan, who was sharp from
the service line all day, gave MC the first set of the finals 25-16. The Raptors jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead
in the second set of the Finals. And eventually to 10-4. But Potomac State rallied, to tie it at 12. But MC immediately responded, taking the lead
on a Gregory kill and adding to it when Chepurnova swooped in from the wing and they cruised
in from there to take the second set 25-19 to lead the match 2-0. The third set was all Raptors, they quickly
jumped out to a 5-1 lead; pushed it 8-2 on a Fennicks’ kill; to 9-3 on a bomb from Chepurnova;
stretched it to 12-3 on a Fennicks blast; to 16-5 on a Nelligan put away from the wing
and to 23-13 on another Chepurnova laser; before taking the match and the tournament
title on one last block at the net. The tournament title pushes the Raptor’s record
to a stunning 19-0 for the season. Talk about a great start. This clearly is a special group and it’s going
to be lots of fun to see how things develop the rest of the regular season and into the
post-season. For the Raptor Report, I’m Michael Brown

David Frank