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Hudson drops a game for the first time all season but responds well enough to top Ridgewood in four.
By FRANK PASTOR
Published September 13, 2005
HUDSON - Coach Linda McQuade didn't give her team a choice after Hudson dropped a game for the first time this season, ending a 19-game win streak that spanned parts of seven matches.
Instead, she reminded her players what former Cobras hitter Allyson Ray repeatedly told them during last season's state semifinal run: "It's a have-to."
"They have to learn that ... you don't press the panic button," McQuade said. "You have to find some level of composure and play out the game."
Hudson took the words to heart, bouncing back to beat visiting Ridgewood 25-17, 22-25, 25-17, 25-21 on Monday.
Playing at a faster tempo than in its previous matches and facing one of the area's hardest hitters, Ridgewood middle hitter Caitlin Morrison, Hudson (7-0) had to dig deep for its biggest win of the season.
The Cobras scored nine of the final 11 points, including Lara Metz's winner, in the third game and held off a rally before edging the Rams on consecutive kills by Metz and Mary Cook in the fourth.
"After we won the third game, I got a really, really good feeling inside my stomach and I liked it a lot, so I wanted it again," Hudson middle hitter Amber Bentley said. "It's the satisfaction of doing your best and winning."
Ridgewood (7-5) rebounded from Thursday's loss to previously winless Wesley Chapel to play one of its strongest matches as a team. The Rams took their cues from Morrison, who provided vocal leadership along with her team-high 12 kills and eight digs.
"The girls definitely wanted to win, we were just too inconsistent throughout the night," Ridgewood coach Amber Starkey said. "But any time you can take a game here at Hudson with the crowd that they have, we had a chance. We were right there."
Metz, a sophomore outside hitter, led all hitters with 17 kills. Bentley had nine, and Kelly Bislick added eight. Cook, a sophomore in her first season as a setter, handed out 42 assists.
"I think we all worked together as a team," Metz said. "Yeah, they did give us a hard match, but we like competition."