Long third set finally ends 33-31
by Kirk Whitaker
For the third time in the last month, Tri-County and Arthur-Lovington squared off in volleyball and just as in their prior meetings, there was something big up for grabs. Last time it was the championship game of the Arcola Invite, this time it was the LOVC tournament crown.
The Lancers came out hot, scoring the first six points of the match, beginning with an ace by junior Brooke Tabb and three kills by junior Emily Seegmiller and another kill by junior Jessica Davis.
After Davis’ kill, the Titans called an early timeout much to the excitement of the Lancer crowd.
“We needed to keep the momentum going because we had all the momentum on our side,” Tabb said. “We knew if we kept doing that, we would be setting ourselves up to do really well tonight.”
The Lancers started the match on a 9-3 run, but the Titans came back to tie the match at 20, forcing an AL timeout.
“We said in the locker room that we wanted to play at the next level,” Lancers head coach Val Cornwell explained, “and, by golly, they did. Everybody stepped up and made plays.”
The Lancers finished the set on a 5-1 string and took the first set 25-21.
The second set, however, was a preview of a third.
Late in the set there were seven ties after Tri-County came back from AL’s three point lead at 15-12 midway through the match. The small things seemed to go in favor of the Titans in the second set, and they pulled out a 25-22 win to force a decisive third set.
The last time the two teams went to three sets—the first matchup of the season when the teams met in Oakland—the Lancers won out, snapping the Titans’ 35 consecutive LOVC match win streak.
This time the Titans would get revenge.
The Lancers were down as far as 19-11 but came back to cut the deficit to 22-20.
After Lancer senior Karly Goodman scored a point for the Lancers to cut the deficit to two, there was a stoppage of play.
Ten minutes later, officials and both sides finally came to the conclusion that Arthur had served out of turn and the point would go to Tri-County, and AL would lose a point, giving the Titans a 23-19 lead.
“We misfired a few times and had some unforced errors in the second and third sets, and we had three chances to win late in the third set,” Cornwell said. “We just didn’t hit it. They said we had the wrong server; I would have to see the video to see otherwise. First they said a girl didn’t serve, but we had proof she did, but stats don’t really matter, then they said she served but we rotated wrong. It’s just the way it goes. ”
But the Lancers would came back with a vengeance, going on a 5-1 run to tie the game at 24.
Lancer senior Sherelle Coller would have a kill on the next point, and the Lancers were one point away from victory.
But Tri-County was not ready to let up either.
The Lancers would have the chance to seal the match at 29-28 after a kill from Hannah Schrock, but the Titans answered to tie the match and wouldn’t allow another AL chance to cap the game, instead winning 33-31.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” said Cornwell. “We are still 20-2. I’m not crying over that. This was our best match of the season by far. Sure the call would have given us the point that would have given us a win in the end, but we are human, things happen. We will just keep playing.”