South Putnam (5-9, 0-2 WCC) scored 106 points and Monrovia (4-13, 1-2 WCC) scored 107. What was the difference between the two teams?
"Desire," answered South Putnam coach Lindsey Blackman. "Monrovia wanted it more than we did. We started out well in the first set, but in games two through five, Monrovia wanted it more. It came down to desire and heart."
The Eagles had outstanding performances from sophomore Leanna Masters and junior Alex McHugh.
"Leanna Masters played very well," Blackman said. "She had a good year as a freshman , but she's been in the shadows of Emily Dabkowski this year as a hitter and tonight (Monday) she really broke out. Alex McHugh sets and plays weakside hitter. This is Alex McHugh's first year playing setter anywhere and she's worked hard to improve and it's started to show."
The Eagles started strong, opening up a 12-2 lead and kept the Bulldogs at least three points the rest of the opening game.
Monrovia was in command for most of the second game, leading 13-5, 19-12 and 24-17. The Eagles fought hard to stave off game point by scoring five straight before Monrovia evened the match, 1-1.
It was a seesaw third game. South Putnam jumped ahead and Monrovia rallied for a 16-15 lead. The Eagles moved in front 19-16 and Monrovia countered with a 7-1 run for a 23-20 lead. South Putnam battled back at game point, cutting its deficit to 24-23, and Monrovia scored the final point to take a 2-1 lead.
South Putnam rallied to win the fourth game, 25-23, by scoring the final four points.
The decisive fifth game was tied at 5, 7, 9 and 10. Monrovia took a 12-10 lead, South Putnam cut the margin to one point and the Bulldogs scored the final four points to win the match.
"You're always disappointed when you have a chance to win and don't capitalize," Blackman said. "It's disappointing for the coaching staff and the girls."
At South Putnam
Monrovia 3, South Putnam 2
Monrovia 25 22 23 25 15
South Putnam 19 25 25 23 15