The first two sets of Thursday’s match started slow for Crothersville, but the volleyball team bounced back to capture a 3-1 win in a Jackson County clash at Medora.
The Tigers narrowly won the first set 25-23, and Medora took the second set 25-15 before the Tigers bounced back and won the third set 25-20 and the fourth 25-13.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery
“I really hope this win can build our fire back,” Tigers coach Kourtney Settle said following the game.
The Tigers’ Kaitlin McVey led both teams in serving, going 19 for 19 with two aces.
The Tigers (5-4) had control of most of the first set until the game was 14-9 in their favor. That’s when the Hornets took off on a run behind Morgan Dunn and ended up tying the match at 16.
The two teams battled back-and-forth, and it looked as though the Tigers were going to close it out, but Medora snuck back in with three consecutive points from Gracey Cobb before the Tigers sealed the victory on two scores.
“They really made me nervous,” Settle said of the first set. “We didn’t play together at all and weren’t talking or moving their feet.”
The Hornets (1-7) continued their strong march in the second set as they jumped to a quick 10-4 lead behind a solid serving performance from Keyla Newby.
The Tigers regained their footing and scored five straight points on efficient serving from McVey.
The Hornets then used a few small runs to keep the Tigers at bay and captured the second set with an impressive 25-15 win.
“We really had some enthusiasm in the second set, and I was glad we took it,” Hornets coach Missy Stewart said. “I thought we were moving well.”
The third set looked like the Tigers had established the pace and were on track to bury the Hornets when they found themselves up 22-15.
That’s when Kailen Flynn lead the Hornets on a four-point run to bring the score to an interesting 22-19.
The Hornets were able to get one more point but ended up losing 25-20.
The Tigers came out strong in the fourth set and ended up setting themselves on cruise control.
“I don’t know what happened with that set,” Settle said. “Whatever Maddie (Riley) said to them really fired them up because I didn’t say anything in particular.”
The Tigers won the fourth and deciding set with run after multiple runs. The largest was six by Makayla Helt, and Bekah Cook followed with a five-point run late in the set.
Lexi James and Mariyah Kelshaw each had three-point runs in the 25-13 win.
Settle said she was impressed with Riley’s ability to lead the team throughout the game and keep them focused on winning.
“I think she gets them excited, and I always tell them the more excited you play, you begin to play together and play so much better,” she said. “When they play like they’re having fun, that’s when we win games and have fun.”
The Hornets are only able to sub a couple players, and Stewart said the team can begin to experience fatigue when they get down the stretch, something that showed in the final set.
“That fourth game, they really seemed winded,” Stewart said. “Their feet get a little heavy, and they don’t communicate as well when they’re tired, but they need to push through that.”
Still, Stewart feels the performance was strong enough to build off of ahead of Saturday’s game against Evansville Christian.
“I’m hoping we can come out strong and carry this one over,” she said. “I think we know we can stay with teams.”
Settle said she hopes her team can continue its fight against Columbus Christian tonight.
“We just need to keep up the fire,” she said.