"I'm extremely disappointed," Musselman coach Shawn Martz said. "We're way past the point of just being happy to stay close with Hedgesville. They just played better than us tonight."
Zick credited middle hitters Brittany Boarman and Rebekah Good with leading her team. Boarman registered three kills and Good five, though Boarman's total of two blocks would have been higher if the Eagles were not using standard NCAA-style scoring, which only credits a player with a block when it results in an immediate point.
"My middles came through big tonight. I was really pleased," Zick said. "We've been working hard with them in practice on reading the hitter better and getting to the outside quicker. They were huge for us."
And they helped the Eagles pull out the first two games, both featuring ties at 18-18. In the first game, Musselman's Erica Manor dropped in a desperation shot on the line to tie it, but Hedgesville's Lindsay Hadley responded with a kill and Musselman knocked its next two volleys into the net.
Manor and Dana Lambert managed a pair of kills to bring it back to 21-20, but the Eagles rattled off four of the final five points. It started with Katey Sheehan's kill and Boarman's ace, then, after Boarman served long, Kristin Kisner's serve went out and Good finished off the game with a kill.
In the second, Good broke the 18-18 tie when her kill attempt set off a scramble on Musselman's side, which was followed by kills from Katie Rude and Sheehan to make it 21-18.
A block attempt went out for a Musselman point, but Good and Rude nearly attempted a kill at the same time on the next volley. Rude pulled back just enough to allow Good to make it 22-19.
Good followed with a block, the Applemen scored the next three points and Hedgesville finished it with the final two - one coming on Noel Bott's errant serve and the other on Krista Plumer's ace.
Hedgesville grabbed a 20-7 lead in the third before nearly blowing it. The first part of the game, though, was a thing of beauty for Zick.
"Until it started rattling away," she added. "But it was a good feeling. I wish it would have held out longer."
Hadley and Sheehan each contributed seven kills and Rude six. Devin Kesecker had 24 assists.
For the Applemen, Katie Kees had nine kills and five service points, while Manor led the team with 11 kills. Chelsea Wheaton added 32 assists.
"We didn't control the ball as well as we like to," Martz said. "Usually, that's a strength of ours.
"Our passing the ball, digging the ball - we didn't play great defense and didn't pass great. That's where it starts for us. On the plus side, this is the most people I've seen come out for a volleyball game around here in a long time."