The WCHS Lady Pioneer volleyball team lost a heartbreaking match to Shelbyville Tuesday in five sets, and they travelled to Shelbyville for a rematch on Wednesday night. Warren County lost the rematch 3-0, but the scores were close in each set. The losses drop the Lady Pioneers to 2-3 for the season.
The Lady Pioneers started out strong in their home match against Shelbyville, winning the first set 25-18. Warren County fell behind in the second set 6-13, but rallied back to tie the set 22-22, but lost 25-22.
The sets were tied 1-1 going into the third set, which the Lady Pioneers won 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
There is a mental, emotional component to sports. Although the Lady Pioneers had a 2-1 lead going into the third set, they should have won the second set. Losing the second set gave Shelbyville confidence to keep competing with the expectation of winning. Shelbyville won the next two sets, 25-20 and 15-13 to win the match 3-2.
There were many strengths to Warren County’s performance. Bella Cantrell was a strong server and setter. Mia Hobbs was very aggressive on the back line returning serves, making digs, and spiking at the net. Hobbs was also effective blocking balls at the net.
Ally Beneke is a force at the net. Beneke can spike the ball straight down, and she is a strong blocker at the net. Marli McBride made intelligent plays, and she often kept the ball in play with good decision-making. McBride was also an active spiker who helped score points for the Lady Pioneers.
Tuesday was Mea Starkey’s birthday, and the senior was strong at every position on the court.
Jessie Young was a strong server and active on the back line. Juju Pyburn had some strong hits at the net and contributed some solid serves to help her team.
After the home match on Tuesday, Erin Blalock said, “We lost because of careless mistakes. I told the girls if we play with the effort we had in the fifth set, it would not have gone to five sets. Something happened in the second set. We lost effort. I think we got down in the second set, and that gave them confidence to stay in the match. Not any one player on their team beat us, and not one player on our side beat them. It was a team match. It was a lack of execution on our part at times that made a difference.”
Mia Hobbs commented after the home match, “I felt like we are better than that team, but we came out slow, including myself. We should have won. It all depends on your hits, and your sets. The last two points went out, and I take full responsibility for it. I think that it (COVID) has slowed us down some, and it has kept us out of the gym. Of course your rhythm is off. We just have to keep practicing. You play like you practice. The best thing for us is to keep practicing.”
The Lady Pioneers hosted Lincoln County as the Southern Standard was going to print Thursday night. They play in the Coffee County Southern Slam this weekend, and they host Cannon County in the high school gym Monday.