By Nelson Coffin
Beth Tfloh rode a tight defense and accurate serving to 25-15, 25-21, 25-22 C Conference volleyball victory over Garrison Forest on Monday evening in Pikesville.
The Warriors put more than 90 percent of their serves in play, according to Beth Tfiloh coach Ken Pierce, and then did a good job of digging, setting and passing to earn the win over the Grizzlies.
Even though BT completed the sweep, Garrison Forest made each successive set more competitive.
The Warriors snapped an 8-all deadlock in the first set and went on a 10-0 run fueled by a pair of Maya Benhamou aces and a two blocks by Ilanit Abraham to take an 18-8 advantage.
Eventually, Julia Shpigel closed out the set for BT with three consecutive aces.
After the Grizzlies grabbed a 3-1 lead in the second set, the Warriors jumped back on top in what turned out to be a nip-and-tuck battle.
Trailing, 22-18, Garrison ran off three consecutive points on a BT miss hit and consecutive kills by senior Soliel Gohoure and sophomore Rashiya Howell to pull within a point of drawing even.
However, just when they needed a run of their own, the Warriors were up to the task again with Shpigel closing the set with back-to-back aces.
In the final set, The Grizzlies held a comfortable 21-16 cushion after a kill by junior Olivia Morgan and an ace by middle hitter Nyla Holley.
The five-point margin didn’t last very long, even though things were going in such a positive direction for the visitors.
When Benhamou served to put her team back in front and later tipped a ball for another point, Abraham then added a block and Aleesa Elbaum ended the game with an ace.
BT captain Shira Pomerantz said that the Warriors draw strength from “pumping each other up” when they huddle in a circle.
“Our team really need confidence, and we get that in the circles,” she said. “We’ve struggled with communication in the past, but we’re getting better with it. We know our abilities and know that we have to keep trying, no matter what.”
Garrison Forest coach Eric Zak, who said that he was pleased with Holley’s play at the net, added that his team didn’t quite make the adjustments it needed to emerge with a win.
“But we didn’t get deflated or anything,” Zak said. “We’ve been through this before, and we just had a tough five-set match on Friday against Oldfields."
Speaking of Oldfields, it will provide the opposition for the Warriors in Tuesday’s Senior Day match that will conclude the regular season home slate. They still have road games, however, at Glenelg Country School and St. Timothy’s before the postseason begins.
Garrison Forest, which will travel to Annapolis to take on Key on Thursday, finishes its regular season Oct. 17 at Roland Park Country School.