MAYFIELD - Midway through the first game of Tuesday's Western Athletic Conference match with Canajoharie, the Mayfield volleyball team found itself six points away from a 1-0 deficit.
The Lady Panthers pulled themselves together and pulled out a 25-21 first-game win, outscoring the Cougars 12-2 down the stretch to rally from a 19-13 deficit.
"If [Canajoharie] wins that first game, it changes everything," Mayfield coach Eileen Rovito said. "We were able to come back from a big hole and win it."
Mayfield’s Kaylee Bumpus, left, hits over the block attempt by Canajoharie’s Shelby Mead (21) and Emma Stortecky (8) during Tuesday’s Western Athletic Conference match at Mayfield High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
Mayfield’s Bailey Ward, left, and Canajoharie’s Evangeline Wilcox, right, battle at the net during Tuesday’s Western Athletic Conference match. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
Instead of having to rally from behind in the match, the Lady Panthers were able to play from in front on their way to a 3-0 win as they claimed the final two games 25-19 and 25-18.
"We had it, but Mayfield is known for coming back," Canajoharie coach Stephanie Bartkus said. "Mayfield is an outstanding team. We wanted to take at least one game from them today though."
Canajoharie fell behind early in the first game before using a three-point service run from Jodi Streath to grab a 6-4 advantage. The Cougars continued to build on their advantage, pushing their lead to 13-8 after four straight service points from Rosemary Trahan.
However, Mayfield begin its rally with a four-point service run by Miranda Eagan, who opening the burst with an ace. Eagan's effort pulled the Lady Panthers to within a point as they trailed 19-18.
Canajoharie held its one-point lead until Kaylee Bumpus used four straight service points to close out the first game for Mayfield.
"We were a little slow out of the blocks," Rovito said. "I'm glad we're pulling it out, but I'd like to see us to get going a little quicker."
With its shaky first-game start behind it, Mayfield got out to quick leads and never trailed in the second and third games.
"We had better starts in the second and third games," Rovito said. "We played with more confidence. Hopefully, we'll build off that for the rest of the season."
In the second game, Nicole Little had three service points, two kills and an ace for Mayfield, while Karissa Morey added five service points and two kills. The Lady Panthers led by as many as seven points on their way to a 25-19 second-game win.
The Lady Panthers opened the final game with a 5-0 run that included four straight service points from Morey and also got a 5-0 service run from Mackenzie Biggers that pushed the Mayfield lead to 16-10. The Lady Panthers extended their lead eight points on their way to a 25-18 win to close out the match.
After coming so close to winning a game off Mayfield, the Cougars are looking forward to the Oct. 3 rematch in Canajoharie.
"I'm looking forward to the next time we play them," Bartkus said. "Now, we know what to expect from them."
Morey finished with 10 service points, eight assists and five kills to lead Mayfield, while Little posted eight kills and six points. Bumpus added seven points, seven digs and five kills for the Lady Panthers.
Abbey Dearwester had five service points, four kills and two digs for Canajoharie, while Emma Stortecky registered 11 assists and six points. Shyanna Logan finished with four kills for the Cougars and Rosemary Trahan added four digs.
"We've got some work to do," Rovito said. "We need to get ourselves where we need to be earlier in the match."
Mayfield (3-1 overall, 2-1 WAC) will host Fonda-Fultonville in a non-league contest today at 5:30 p.m.
Canajoharie (3-2 overall, 3-2 WAC) will host the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday along with Fort Plain. The tournament is slated to begin at Fort Plain at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Canajoharie.