Mosley on the Timberwolves effort: They “Came in Fired Up and Never Backed Down”
Just seven days after suffering a regular season loss (3-1) in Tallahassee to Mosley High School (Lynn Haven), the Chiles Timberwolves traveled two hours down I-10 and captured a 6A district title with a 3-2 victory over the Lady Dolphins.
Mosley entered the district final ranked No. 3 in the Florida 6A class with a 20-4 record and a line-up that featured the top four hitters in District 2. During the 2022-23 regular season, the Lady Dolphins matched up against Leon High, Florida High and Lincoln High a total of five times and did not drop a set.
There was little statistical evidence that the Timberwolves would pose a threat to a Mosley program that captured the state title in the 5A class in 2021-22 before moving to the 6A class this year.
But on Wednesday, when the smoke cleared from the Lady Dolphin introductions, the Timberwolves got down to business.
The Timberwolves dropped the first set 25-23 after fighting back from an early deficit. Despite the first set loss, the Timberwolves’ level of play was different than during the 25-11 first set loss to Mosley a week earlier.
During the second set, Chiles rushed out to a 22-12 lead and closed it out easily, 25-16.
The back and forth in the third set reached 20-19 in the favor of Mosley. A couple of careless errors by the Timberwolves allowed Mosley to close the set out 25-20.
Down two sets to one, the Timberwolves refused to give in and jumped out to a commanding 15-9 lead in the fourth set. After a Mosley time-out, the Lady Dolphins closed to within two, but Chiles responded with a run and led 24-20.
Mosley made one last stand. Serving, Mosley captured the next three points before Chiles won 25-23.
In the fifth set, Chiles took a 4-0 lead and Mosley took a time-out. But it was clear, Mosley was impacted by the consistent play of the Timberwolves and the burden of expectations as the home favorite. Behind powerful serving down the stretch, Chiles won the fifth and deciding set 15-8.
As Chiles Coach Kaitlin Jahn would say after the match, “I have been in that situation before, everyone expects you to win. It is a lot of pressure when your opponent is playing well.”
Jahn added, “we played a great game against Mosley. The girls battled for every point and stayed focused throughout the entire match. The energy and confidence they displayed against a great Mosley team is what we needed going into the playoffs.”
Mosley posted a message on Facebook after the match: “Congratulations to Chiles High School for winning district last night. It definitely stings when the other team wins on our court but they came in fired up and never backed down. Now time to focus on regional playoffs.”
The Timberwolves attack was led by Junior Kaylin Johnson with 21 kills. Sophomore Kate Stewart and Junior Delaney Scott-Hanowell each added 12 kills with no errors. The teams hitting percentage of 37.5% – above the season average of 24.5% – was facilitated by Freshman setter Natalie Gibson who had a season high 51 assists in 107 attempts.
Johnson (5), Stewart (3), and Senior Isabelle Pauli (3) combined to serve 11 aces while Senior Sarah Gale (21), Senior Ally Doughty (16), and Stewart (20) had 57 serve attempts with no errors. And on the frontline, Scott-Hanowell (4), Johnson (3), Pauli (3) and Freshman Lindsay Smith (3) combined for 13 blocks.
The Timberwolves begin the state playoffs on Wednesday, October 26 – on the road – against the 4th ranked Ponte Vedra Sharks.
Let’s Go Wolves ! Keep Winning