By Chris Rogers
On Tuesday, September 21, the Lady Tiger volleyball teams hosted the Lady Indians of Chiefland. After a late arrival of the visitors, the Middle School sets were underway. The first set of the middle school match was really the closest of the whole night, only having a two or three point difference a few times. Other than that, the majority of the time it stayed tied. The Tigers would go up one point, the Indians would answer. The Indians would go up one point, the Tigers would answer. So it was, even to the end when the set didn’t end at 25 points, but at 26 to 28, the Lady Indians winning the first set.
The Tigers came out on fire the second set, with Madison Dean serving them up to five unanswered points. Then the momentum was broken when the referee called a net touch on Trenton to put the first Indian point on the board. After that the Indians came back to tie the set up at 5 to 5. The Tigers finally broke that streak, making the score 6 to 5, Trenton up. This may be the last time the Tigers were up the rest of the set. They stayed within three or four points right up until the end, losing the second set 18 to 25, and the match. Great job ladies, you played with a lot of heart and never gave up.
Next the JV teams took the court. These two teams were also pretty evenly matched. Battling back and forth, staying within a point or two of each other all the way until the Indians pulled out in the lead at 15 points to the Tigers 11, a timeout was called to regroup and break that momentum. It seemed to work, both teams crept up a point at a time until Chiefland got to 20 points, with the Tigers having only 16. This was like deja vu from last year, Olivia Weaver was up to serve. 17 to 20, the Indians didn’t have an answer. 18 to 20... 19 to 20... 20 to 20, Chiefland coaches call a timeout. The Indian defense went off the rails all up until, and especially, the final Tiger point, when there was a miscommunication and two of the Lady Indians let the ball hit the floor right between them. It sounds harsh, but we’ve all been there.
I don’t know if it’s the rules or preference, I really should have looked it up, but Weaver came back out still serving. She and her fellow Lady Tigers served up, defended, and killed their way to a 6 to 0 lead in the second set. The Lady Indians did rally back and score. 11 to 2, 16 to 4, 17 to 9, 21 to 16. It was just too little too late. Olivia Weaver had started them off, and Carsen McKenzie finished it up serving. The JV Lady Tigers ended the second set, and the match, winning 25 to 17.
The Varsity matchup was... well, it was loud. My hat’s off to the players on both teams and the referees for even being able to think straight. Just as the upper classman show up in the student section to cheer on the Middle School and the JV, it fills up all the more during the varsity games. The Varsity Lady Tigers had traveled to Chiefland earlier in the season and lost to the Indians, so it was very important to be able to stand their ground and try to pull out a win on their home court. Both teams came out swinging in the first set, with tied scores several times. The Indians, however, eased out with a three point lead that caused the Tiger coaches to call a timeout at 7 to 10. The regrouping worked as the Tigers tied once more at 11 to 11, then slowly put a comfortable distance between them and their opponent. The first set ended at 25 to 15 with Tiger Freshman Koi Perry finishing up serving.
The Lady Indians tried to get something going in the second set starting off with a 2 to 0 lead. But that fizzled rather quickly as a 4 to 3 lead turned into a 12 to 5 lead. Chiefland just didn’t seem to have an answer for what Trenton was dishing out. The second set ended with Chiefland serving across and the Lady Tigers setting up Chloe Wilkerson for a kill to end the set 25 to 13.
Did I mention it was loud? The third set was no different in the decibel department, but the scoreboard wasn’t agreeing with the Tiger fans. The Indians came out with a quick lead and seemed to have worked out their bugs. Trenton called a timeout at 2 to 4, and again at 4 to 9. Things weren’t looking up for the Lady Tigers in this set. They were keeping the Indians in sight with a four point difference, then slowly up to a two point difference. Next thing I knew, it was tied at 14 all. Then tied again at 18 all. The crowd got louder and louder. Then the Tigers pulled out in the lead for the first time this whole third set at 22 to 21. I thought surely this was going over the 25 point mark, like the Middle school’s first set, but the Lady Tigers played hard and did their job winning 25 to 23 in the third and final set of the night. As the last whistle blew, the student section of the stands unloaded onto the court. I don’t know if it was the opponent, we love our neighbors on all sides, but have always had a (mostly) healthy rivalry with a few. Maybe it was just the fact that they had lost before, but was able to even the score back up. I’m not real sure what it was, but that was good stuff. I’m sorry if you missed it.
The JV and Varsity’s next home game is against the Lady Panthers of Newberry, Tuesday, October 5th. JV starts it off at 5:00 p.m.
Lady Tigers volleyball host the Chiefland Indians
By Chris Rogers