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  • Keith Hjelle

"Mo" Finally Sides With Charger VB: ACGC 3, Woodward-Granger 1

During the presidential primary season of 1980, George H.W. Bush won the Iowa caucuses and declared that his campaign had the "Big Mo" heading into other primaries and caucuses. He was referring of course to momentum, a word often used in the sports world to signify a big win that will carry a team, or a candidate in the political world, onto future success.

But the problem with momentum is that it is a fickle entity. One can never count on it to be loyal. It is an entity that is here today and gone tomorrow. It switches sides without warning and leaves a sports team, or a political candidate, wondering where "Big Mo" went.

Although Mr. Bush went on to be the forty third president of the United States in 1988, in 1980 he lost the Republican nomination to Ronald Reagan who went on to win the general election. "Big Mo" deserted Mr. Bush in 1980 with no warning and clearly had no loyalty to the future president.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with a column dedicated to high school sports--specifically a column about ACGC High School sports? It seems apparent to this observer that there is no high school sport where momentum plays a bigger role than in volleyball. Last night's Charger match at Woodward-Granger is a good example.

W-G led throughout most of the first set and held a 23-20 lead late in the set before an errant serve into the net made it 23-21. Momentum then switched to the Charger side. ACGC managed to tie it at 24 apiece and took a 25-24 lead on Kylie Young's kill. After the Hawks scored to tie it again, they hurt themselves with a net serve to give the visitors a one point lead. Alaina Bunde's block of a W-G kill attempt fell to the floor on the Hawk's side of the net and ACGC had taken the first set, 27-25.

"Mo" stayed with the Chargers throughout set number two, as ACGC took a 3-2 lead early in the set and never relinquished it, winning the set 25-21. With momentum clearly on the Charger side, it appeared ACGC was headed for a three game sweep of the Hawks.

But that changed midway through the third set when "Mo" simply decided to flip sides and hang out with the hosts. With the Chargers leading 13-12 midway through the set, and with Darby Nixon serving for W-G, the Hawks scored eight consecutive points to take a 20-13 lead over the Chargers. When momentum switches sides, the team that has lost "Mo" is a step slow to the ball and fails to cover up the holes on defense; it does not set the ball as well and sees its kill attempts to be less effective on offense. So when ACGC lost "Mo", the Hawks dominated the remainder of the third set and handed the Chargers a 25-15 loss.

The question now was whether or not the fickle "Mo" would return to befriend the Chargers or maintain its loyalty to the home team. Once again W-G led throughout most of set number four, taking the lead at 7-6 and maintaining it until ACGC took it back at 14-13 after a good volley that ended with a strong Chloe Largent kill. But then "Mo" seemed to favor the Hawks as they retook the lead at 15-14 and increased it to 21-18. ACGC battled back with "Mo's" help to lead once again at 22-21. After Saige O'Brien's successful block gave the Chargers a 24-21 lead, the visitors were one point away from victory!

Now, a fourth entity became a factor--human judgement. Not only were W-G, ACGC, and "Mo" enmeshed in a titanic battle, because a controversial call by a line judge that favored the Hawks also became a factor. The judge called a hit by W-G to be inside the playing court, when it appeared to land a foot outside the boundary line. So, instead of a 25-21 win for ACGC, the score was 24-22 with the Hawks serving. What would "Mo" do? It appeared it had chosen the Hawks when they narrowed the score to 24-23. But the final point was scored by the Chargers and ACGC had prevailed in a hard fought match that improved its season record to a perfect 6-0 and its WCAC mark to 3-0. So, for this night, "Mo" stayed with the Chargers just long enough to help pull out a victory!

The win has some significance, as this was the first Charger win over W-G in the brief four year existence of ACGC sports. The Hawk volleyball program has been solid in the WCAC , having won 137 games overall the last five years, with three conference titles to its credit during those years. A big win for the Chargers with some help from "Mo"!

Up next for the Chargers is a tournament at Griswold on Saturday, with the first matches to begin at 9 AM. go Chargers!

Set scores:

ACGC 27 25 15 25

W-G 25 21 25 23

Charger statistics:

Kill Attack Kill Serve Serve

Kills Err Attempts Eff Assts Digs Blocks Success Serves Eff Ace

Stowe 0 0 0 .000 44 11 4 14 14 1.000 1

Bunde 4 2 8 .250 0 1 6 0 0 .000 0

Coffman 0 0 0 .000 0 8 0 11 11 1.000 0

Laabs 0 0 0 .000 2 26 0 9 11 .818 1

Largent 30 4 67 .388 0 5 1 13 15 .867 1

McClain 1 0 4 .250 0 1 4 0 0 .000 0

O'Brien 3 3 10 .000 0 1 4 12 14 .857 4

Young 8 2 26 .231 0 7 0 18 22 .818 2

Totals 46 11 115 .304 46 60 19 77 87 .885 9

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