For whatever reason, the momentum in Tuesday’s volleyball match between William Chrisman and Fort Osage hit the brakes in the middle of Game 1, shifted into reverse and never looked back.

For whatever reason, the momentum in Tuesday’s volleyball match between William Chrisman and Fort Osage hit the brakes in the middle of Game 1, shifted into reverse and never looked back.

After struggling early in the first game, the Bears rallied for a 26-24, 25-20 Suburban Middle Seven Conference triumph at William Chrisman High School.  

Initially, the Indians quieted a noisy Chrisman student section by jumping to a 22-16 lead. But shortly after a Bear timeout, Chrisman stabilized and ripped off 10 of the game’s final 12 points to go up 1-0.

The Bears (12-8-1, 4-2) kept the momentum going in Game 2 to pull out the victory and move into a tie with Fort Osage (8-6, 4-2) for second place in the conference.

Although the Chrisman rally coincided with coach Vanessa Jones’ timeout, she said she didn’t devise any groundbreaking scheme that sparked the surge.

“I honestly think it was just going back to basics,” said Jones, whose team hosts Raytown South on Thursday. “Moving your feet on defense. Getting to the holes. Where are we supposed to be on defense? Because that’s really what it came down to was getting back to the basics. What do we hit? What do we cover? That sort of stuff, and once we remembered that, I think it was like, ‘OK, we know how to play and we can compete and we do things well.’"

Jones chalked up the slow start to nerves and excitement over how much noise the fans were making early in the match. Junior Lindsey Maxwell added that it was a simple matter of finding a comfort zone.

“I feel like we finally just started coming together,” said Maxwell, who led the Bears with 15 assists. “We always start off rough and all of a sudden we get a big kill and it just clicks and we go on a roll and we’re just unstoppable.”

Lexi Salva paced Chrisman with eight kills, Jessica Ferguson came up with nine digs and Jackie Becker registered five blocks.

Things again started slow for the Bears in the second game as they missed their fist two serves. But Chrisman again settled and eventually fired an 8-1 run to pull ahead 12-7. While the Indians closed to within 18-16 at one point, momentum never truly slipped from the Bears’ side.

“It was just like we lost it and never got it back,” Fort Osage coach Sean Barrett said. “We hustled. My girls did all right. We played well. Chrisman deserved to win. They played better.”

Barrett noted that he was especially impressed with the play of junior Lynn Siefker, who tallied four kills, five blocks, seven digs and went 11 for 11 serving and receiving. Kathleen Pau also added five kills.

But while Barrett said there were some positives, it was his team’s lack of resistance to Chrisman’s first sustained push that left him shaking his head.

“I was just upset with the way we kind of folded towards a couple different runs, giving them four or five points, and how it cost us that first game,” said Barrett, whose team travels to Park Hill South Thursday. “Then we kind of got mental, and I was kind of upset with the way we reacted to the pressure. We usually handle it very well, and tonight we didn’t.”