In a thrilling, back-and-forth affair at Cougar Gym on Thursday, the visiting LadyCats of Edmonson County went home with a five set volleyball victory over Grayson County.
In the earlier match, the Lady Cougar JV squad won in straight sets, 21-6, 21-14.
Grayson County came into this match undefeated in the 12th District, having defeated the LadyCats in straight sets last month in Brownsville. But this match was a different story as the visitors extended the Lady Cougars to five sets, with every set being hotly contested.
The difference-maker for the visitors was the hitting of sophomore Makayla Lindsey. Her hitting was not always of a thunderous nature, although she could put some mustard on the ball. It was her pinpoint accuracy, and intelligent play that made the difference. Time after time she had Grayson County’s back row backing up expecting blasts, only to have Lindsey place the ball deftly into open spaces in front of the back row.
Grayson County got off to a torrid start in the first set as they scored the first 10 points of the game. Senior Shelby Watson served six aces during the run, including the first five in a row. Senior Bailey Martin also had three kills during the run.
That would have caused most teams to fold their tents, but the LadyCats did not quit. Trailing by 15 points, 20-5, the LadyCats reeled off eight straight points to make things interesting at 20-13.
Edmonson pulled to within six points of the lead before Grayson County was able to put them away. With Edmonson County serving at set-point, Martin put away another kill to give her team the first set, 25-17.
The LadyCats built an eight-point advantage in the second set, 6-14, before the Lady Cougars began battling back. Four straight Grayson County points pulled them to within three points at 20-23 before a Martin serving error ended the run.
The Lady Cougars then staved off four-straight set-points to tie things at 24-24, when a hitting error gave the ball back to the LadyCats for a fifth set-point. This time, another Lady Cougar hitting error gave the LadyCats the second set, 24-26.
Grayson County trailed by three points four different times in the third set before four straight points put them in front for the first time 13-12, and they would never trail again.
Leading by a single point, 20-19, Watkins served out to win the set. Martin had a pair of kills and Watkins had an ace, bringing it to set-point at 24-19. Sophomore Emma Wilder then put away a kill to give the set to Grayson County, 25-19.
The Lady Cougars trailed by eight points twice in the fourth set, the last time coming at 7-15, before they started another comeback. Five straight Grayson County points, including a Martin ace and a kill by Arianna Filippone, brought them to within three points, 12-15.
A kill from Miranda Boaz and a Martin ace gave the Lady Cougars their only lead of the set at 23-22. The Lady Cougars then fought off three set-points before finally giving up the winning point on an ace by Laney Meredith.
That set up the deciding, 15-point set and Grayson County never led. Leading by a point at 8-9, the LadyCats reeled off four straight to make it 8-13 before a hitting error gave the ball back to Grayson County.
Needing a big run to stay in the game, Watkins sent a serve long to give Edmonson its first match point at 9-14. An Edmonson serving error gave the Lady Cougars another chance, but Lindsey blasted a kill on the next volley to give her team the win.
Grayson County never trailed in the first set after scoring the first six points. The only points the LadyCats scored in the first set were rally points.
Leading 17-6, Briannah Wagner served out for the win. Meredith Pawley scored a kill and Wagner served an ace in the final run to win 21-6.
The Lady Cougars trailed just once in the second set, 2-3. They then scored five straight to lead 7-3 and they never looked back.
Libero Ally Felix took the serve with Grayson County up by three points, 17-14 and she served out for the win. A Felix ace brought it to match-point at 20-14 before Julie Carrol smashed a kill on an overpass to give Grayson County the win.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.