WELLSBURG - A good finish can make up for a bad start.
The Catholic Central volleyball team dropped the first game of its match Monday night at Brooke, but the Crusaders rebounded to win the next three games to defeat the Bruins, 12-25, 25-18, 25-11, 25-16, at the Brooke Wellness Center.
"The girls kind of froze," Catholic Central (6-3) head coach Sherri Barber said. "They didn't expect that. They had to ponder things over.
"They displayed mental toughness. Mental toughness was our word of the day. We have been preaching that to them.
"We could be so good. The girls have to be mentally tough. They have to dig deep. They have to have confidence. They have to have that will to win.
"We have a word for every match. Our word today was mental toughness. They showed that."
The Bruins (4-9) had the momentum early in the match, but they were unable to sustain it throughout the whole match.
"We started off well in the first game," Brooke head coach Lori Lynn Jackson said. "We played well in Games 2 and 4. We did not play well in Game 3.
"We have a hard time finishing out games. We have lost a lot of games 25 to 20-something. We have lost four games, 26-24. We have a hard time closing out games."
Individually for Catholic Central, Monica Rigaud contributed 13 points, 14 hits, six kills, seven blocks and two digs. Madeline Gulan ended up with 12 hits, three kills, four aces and four digs and Kamy Belardine recorded 21 points, two hits, two aces and seven digs.
Robyn Runkel collected 19 points, three kills and 42 sets; Monica Fischer finished with 19 hits, five kills and four digs; and Logan Colabella tallied seven hits, three kills and two blocks. Taylor Bednar delivered five kills, five digs and two blocks, and Megan Lloyd added 48 sets and six aces.
Jackson played volleyball and basketball at Catholic Central and also spent time coaching in the volleyball program.
"Catholic Central always has a strong program," Jackson said. "I coached their upperclassmen when they were in 7th and 8th grade.
"They are a good team. They are in Class 2A in the OVAC, but they play like they are in 5A. They have a very strong program. They have some very good girls.
"I have been here three years. That is my alma mater. I want them to do well. I want to beat them when we play, but I went them to do well against everyone else."
Individually for Brooke, Angela Staffileno finished with 17 kills, eight blocks and two aces; Kourtney Leonard contributed five kills, two aces and seven digs; and Emily Stuck chipped in with 20 assists and five digs.
Courtney Elliott tallied two kills and 13 digs, Taylor Hair recorded four kills and three digs and Abby Adams added two blocks and four assists. Alexa Gerard delivered three kills, Madison Marchetti collected two kills and Jentzen Kowcheck ended up with two digs.
"They have some nice players," Barber said. "I think they are like us.
"It was a typical volleyball match. It's who can get the momentum going. In the first game, Brooke was able to get rally points and get the points they needed. They had the momentum. That's what happened in the first game."
Brooke hosts University today, while Catholic Central visits Weir on Wednesday.