Tension grew with each passing point. The crowd exhaled every time the volleyball hit the ground, either with enormous cheers or dispirited groans.
Tuesday’s match at Warren County Middle School was an instant classic.
The Lady Pioneers came out on the wrong end of the showdown with White County, falling 25-20 and 26-24 in the see-saw affair.
“To say I’m proud of the way the girls played would be an understatement. They gave their all from beginning to end,” said Warren County coach Kelly Clayborne. “With White County returning most of its starters from last year, I thought my young team played extremely well.”
The back-and-forth action kept the score close throughout, with White County’s five-point victory in game one proving to be the largest lead for either team during the match.
Warren County had forced two ties in the first match, digging out of a 17-13 hole to knot the score at 17-17 and again at 20-20. A few miscues in the clutch hurt the Lady Pioneers though, giving the visitors an early upper hand.
The Lady Pioneers looked poised to force a deciding third game midway through the second. Warren County rallied behind Krista Chisam’s serving to take a 20-17 lead. The Lady Pioneers even got to game point, leading 24-22 with a chance to seize control.
White County broke Warren County’s serve though, leaving the visitors with a chance to dictate the pace. White County proceeded to roll off three straight strong serves, rushing from behind to triumph.
Warren County was led offensively by Mia Hobbs, who had three kills. Jessie Young and Kennedi Pegg added one kill each. Chisam’s serving was a catalyst in the narrow loss, while Hobbs, Young and Pegg also had aces for the Lady Pioneers. Brianna Winkler added a block defensively.
The Lady Pioneers will look to bounce back Tuesday when the team travels to Manchester to face Westwood. Action is set to begin at 4:30 p.m.