The Brunswick High and Glynn Academy volleyball teams each took care of business in straight sets against Region 2-6A foe Bradwell Institute on Tuesday before turning attention to the cross-town rivalry.
The Terrors went on to notch a 2-0 victory over the Pirates to sweep the tri-match, but both teams were able to walk away from The Glass Palace satisfied with the direction of their respective programs.
For a Brunswick program still looking to establish itself as a perennial postseason contender, handily disposing of any region opponent is a welcome sight, especially now that Region 2-6A features seven teams competing for four playoff spots.
Even more impressive was the way in which Brunswick handled Bradwell. At one point in the first set, the Tigers led 15-11 in what appeared poised to be a tightly-contested match.
But suddenly, a switch flipped, and the Pirates looked like a different team — more confident in their movement on the court, and more aggressive when they had the opportunity to attack. It resulted in Brunswick running off 14 consecutive points to take the set 25-15.
“It’s all about a mental state,” said Pirates head coach Jasmine Hubbard. “Stuff happens at school, and we’re trying to come here, and it’s like, OK, find a way to focus and get centered.
“But I told them, ‘Yo, we shouldn’t be looking like this right now,’ and they were like, ‘We’re trying to get it together.’ Sometimes we don’t have a whole two sets. Sometimes our opponent is much better than Bradwell… Just trying to find a way to lock in sooner.”
Brunswick carried the momentum into the second set, taking a 5-0 lead that soon expanded to 9-2. Bradwell fought to close to within a single point at 10-9, but BHS answered with six straight points en route to a 25-16 win.
Glynn Academy also rolled Bradwell Institute in two sets 25-15, 25-9 to snap a two-match losing streak entering the contest.
The Terrors opened the week by eking out a 3-2 win over Effingham County last Tuesday, but after beating Brunswick 2-0 on Wednesday, they lost a pair of matches in straight sets in a tri-match against Savannah Christian and St. Vincent’s a day later.
First-year head coach Emily Wylie was happy to see Glynn respond early and play up to its standard against an overmatched opponent.
“I think today they definitely held themselves more accountable throughout the whole day, which was awesome,” Wylie said. “They were consistent, held themselves accountable, stayed disciplined, which is a lot better than they did last week.
“So we’re making those improvements this week, and hopefully we keep seeing them be more consistent in that aspect of the game.”
Glynn Academy continued its impressive play in the first set against Brunswick, jumping out to a 17-6 advantage and coasting to a 25-15 victory.
The Pirates fell by a similar margin in the opening set in their first meeting against the Terrors, and subsequently lost the ensuing set by 16 points. This time, Brunswick dug in after dropping the first set and fought even harder.
Brunswick looked like the more aggressive team in the second set, and took advantage of some uncharacteristic miscues by Glynn to turn the match into a brawl. An 11-8 Pirates lead forced the Terrors to take a timeout and regroup. Glynn eventually clawed back to go up 15-14, and the teams proceeded to trade points until the score was deadlocked at 17.
“We’ve been talking about trying to be consistent, doing things in practice and let it actually come to the game,” Hubbard said. “And today, I think they actually believed in some of the stuff they did, and saw they can do it, so it made it a little bit of a difference. They had a little bit of confidence.”
Even when the Terrors went up 22-18, the Pirates refused to acquiesce, trimming the lead down by two more points before finally falling 25-20.
Although Glynn Academy allowed Brunswick to hang around, Wylie was proud to see her team find a way to walk away with the win despite playing less than its best volleyball.
“That’s something we’ve struggled with in the past, so that has been a big improvement for us in just being able to focus themselves in and then being able to finish out the match,” Wylie said. “So that was awesome to see.”