Fast Start Has Mervo Volleyball Eyeing First Baltimore City Title
A strong start by Mervo's volleyball team has head coach Chanel Young thinking a Baltimore City title could be well within the Mustangs' grasp this season.
Mervo is 6-1, including a 5-0 mark against Baltimore City opponents. In those five contests, the Mustangs have dropped just one set.
Despite the team's early success, Young insists the key performance for her team this year came in Mervo's sole loss, which came against Prince George's County's Oxon Hill.
"That was the most competitive game we've had so far and I think it helped my student athletes refocus on our goals," Young said. "It helped us see what we needed to work on in order to get where we are trying to be this year."
Young's confidence comes from returning a large number of experienced players from last year's team, which had 14-3 mark and finished in a tie for second in Baltimore City.
Even with large large number of returners, Mervo is still relatively young this season, featuring a roster comprised mostly of juniors. Young says her team is deep, but her key players are junior outside hitter Taylor Williams, senior outside hitter Dashana Carter and sophomore middle hitter Jemera Ferrell.
Williams, the team's captain, brings a positive attitude to the game that manages to keep the entire team energized. Carter brings a quiet toughness and mental edge to Mervo's group, while Ferrell brings aggressiveness.
"One of my team's strengths would be strong serving. We have some girls that serve really well and their serves are really difficult to return," Young said. "Our playing style is aggressive and confident. We just get out there and play Mervo Volleyball. We play our game."
Looking ahead, the true indicator for just how good Mervo is this season will come when the Mustangs face Poly and Western. Both of those schools beat Mervo in five sets last year, meaning there will be an extra edge in both of those contests. The first is set for a week from today when Poly travels to Mervo. Mervo finishes its regular season on Oct. 19 at Western.
Those two losses were the lone losses Mervo suffered in the regular season in 2015, and kept the Mustangs from winning its first Baltimore City championship. That, along with showing well in the MPSSAA playoffs, is what's motivating the Mustangs this season.
"We have always been so close to making it to compete and for some reason or another we get bumped out," Young said. "Our two losses in the regular season were in games that went to five sets. We just couldn't finish and because of that we got knocked out of the city championship, but I think that this is our year."
|September 30th, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|