The visiting Rams posted a 3-1 win for their third victory of the season.

By DENNY DYROFF

Both, Spring-Ford and Downingtown East are now 3-8 in Ches-Mont League competition. Talent-wise, the teams were fairly evenly-matched - both operating in an "almost but not quite" state of development. The visiting Rams won the opening game 25-19 and then suffered a 28-26 setback in the second. They bounced back to win the third game 25-16 and closed with a 25-20 victory in the fourth.

The Rams held off a late challenge by the Cougars in the first game and then used strong net play to bolt out to a 14-6 lead in the second. Downingtown East refused to fold and used strong service runs by Logan Benson and Jacqui Weber to knot the score at 15-15.

The game was tied 10 more times - all the way to 26-26. Then, the Cougars pulled out a win with Chrissy Round scoring the final two points on a kill and a tip.

"We all can play but we don't always play together," said Spring-Ford's junior middle hitter Sam Scull. It's a mental thing for us. We play inconsistently at times. But, we are coming together more as a team."

The Rams jumped out to a fast 10-2 lead in the fourth game but the scrappy Cougars quickly closed to within three (12-9). Lexie Kob then buried the host squad with an eight-point service run that gave S-F a 21-9 advantage.

East started the fourth game with a flurry and soon led 8-3. But, the Rams' Katie O'Brien served six straight points to regain the lead and Kob served five straight to give her team a little breathing room at 16-10. The teams played evenly the rest of the contest with the Rams on top by five at the end.

Downingtown East's junior hitter Jacqui Weber said, "We've had a lot of close matches that we lost this season. It's been frustrating. But, we've been playing better as a team as the season has progressed. The last time we played them, it was a worse loss than this."

Marie DiCecco, the Cougars' coach, said, "These kids have never played volleyball before they got to the high school. They're a young team - very inexperienced. But, the more they play together, the more they can eliminate the majority of their mistakes. They've definitely gotten better as the

season goes along."

East has logged wins over Downingtown West, Coatesville and Octorara, while Spring-Ford's win column has an All-Downingtown look with a victory over Downingtown West and two over Downingtown East.

"Today, we looked better in the third and fourth games," said Spring-Ford coach Karen Hegedus. "But, I wasn't happy with our inconsistency. That's how the season has been. They're up and then they're down. We just didn't have any spark today. We'd get an eight or nine point lead and then let them back in the game. We can't just take it, run with it and complete it."

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