After easily winning the first set against visiting Ohio County, the Lady Cougar varsity volleyball team had to battle mightily to down the much-improved Lady Eagles in three sets, 25-16, 18-25, 26-24 in last Tuesday’s season-opener at Cougar Gym.
An ace by senior Katlynn Bratcher gave the Lady Cougars an early 6-2 lead over the visitors, but with Morgan Marksberry serving, the Lady Eagles scored five straight to lead 7-6. That would be their only lead of the first set.
An Emma Wilder kill gave the serve back to the Lady Cougars. Senior Shelby Watkins had a pair of aces in a 5-0 Lady Cougar run that put them in from 12-7.
Watkins had two more aces later in the game that increased the Lady Cougar lead to eight points, 19-11. The visitors were never closer than six points the rest of the set. At set point, the Lady Eagles let a set ball fall to the floor untouched to give Grayson County the first set, 25-16.
Perhaps that easy win caused the Lady Cougars to think they would steamroll the visitors again, as they had done so often in the past. But the Lady Eagles showed they were no pushovers as they led from start to finish in the second set.
Ohio County scored the first six points of the game to put Grayson County in a big hole. The Lady Cougars closed to within three points of the lead, 10-7, but they would never be closer. When Watkins served long on set-point, the Lady Eagles had the win 25-18.
In the deciding set, the Lady Cougars took an early four-point lead, 7-3, but it stayed close all the way after that, with the two teams never being separated by more that two or three points.
A Wilder kill and an Ohio County hitting error pushed the Grayson County lead back to four points, 18-14, but the Lady Eagles battled back to tie things 1t 18-18, then took their first lead of the final set, 19-18, when Miranda Boaz was whistled for hitting the ball on the Ohio County side of the net.
A Grayson County hitting error gave the Lady Eagles a two-point lead, 21-19, but Grayson County came back to tie it once again at 21-21. The Lady Cougars would not trail again, but they were never ahead by more than a point the rest of the way.
With the crowd in a frenzy, the two teams traded rally points. Grayson County had its first match-point at 24-23, but a Bailey Martin kill attempt went wide to tie things 24-24 and send the game into overtime.
Martin then came up with a kill off an Ohio County touch to send it to match-point once again, 25-24.
With Bratcher serving, the Lady Eagles were guilty of an overpass and Martin went high and this time put the ball down to give the Lady Cougars the win.
On Thursday, Grayson County moved to 2-0 on the early season with a 2-1 win (25-19, 25-27, 25-19) at Owensboro Senior. They will be playing in the Apollo Invitational, in Owensboro, over the weekend.
Reach Don Brown at 270-259-9622, Ext. 2016