MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets boys volleyball team faced yet another Division I foe on Thursday.
Once again, the result was positive for the Division II ninth-ranked Jackets.
Mount Vernon swept Dublin Coffman, 25-16, 29-27, 25-13 in a nonconference home match.
Mount Vernon was clearly the more aggressive team, attacking the net while the athletic yet relatively small Rocks defended. Coffman was without its best player, out due to disciplinary action. Even with him, the Rocks would have been outmatched.
Coffman’s best showing was in the second set. The Rocks led most of the way, but Mount Vernon took the lead with a 9-4 run to make the score 15-14. The two teams then traded blows, like two heavyweight boxers who wouldn’t back down.
With the teams tied at 23, Matt McManaway had a vicious kill that appeared, at first, to rally the Jackets. But Coffman responded, eventually taking a 26-25 lead until Aaron Nixon made a set-saving kill. McManaway finally finished off the Rocks with a kill to give Mount Vernon the set, 29-27.
The win energized the Yellow Jackets and deflated the tired Rocks. Mount Vernon took a quick 11-1 lead in the third set and never looked back.
“It can be a big momentum swing,” said Mount Vernon head coach Alan Cassell. “If you watch volleyball historically, when you lose a set like that, a lot of times it goes downhill. As you can see, they were a little deflated after we took that second one. It’s a big boost to win one like that.”
Cassell said the key to the game was the play of Dan Eddy, who led the back row and ran a solid defense, never allowing Coffman any momentum.