With a large crowd in attendance in a sultry gymnasium, Thayer Central was able to overcome slow starts Thursday evening to post a straight sets road win against Tri County in opening night play for both squads.
The Lady Titans were able to overcome their slow starts with strong finishes to win by scores of 25-23, 25-23, 25-17.
Thayer Central Lady Titans head volleyball coach Amy Harris was happy with how her team bounced back to win the match after slow starts in the sets.
“We have made it a goal of ours this year to not start so slow. Guess what we started slow, but we also turned it around at the end. The girls were able to finish, where as in recent history we have not been able to finish and go the distance,”Harris remarked.
“I feel that was the difference in the first two close sets. If we had not won that first set, Tri County is a tough and scrappy team that plays strong at the net and serves well we could have been in trouble in the second set, but luckily we went in with the advantage,”Harris stated.
In the first set, after starting from behind, Thayer Central went on a 3-0 run off two kills by Chloe Souerdyke, and a kill from Emily Welch to seize a 13-10 lead.
After Tri County battled back to tie the score at 13, Thayer Central went back on top, 14-13 off a double hit called on the Lady Trojans.
Following six ties with the last being 23-all, the Lady Titans pulled out the win scoring the final two points, as Tri County was whistled for being in the net on a block attempt, and the last point was scored off a Tri County hitting error.
Tri County held a 6-3 advantage in the early part of the second set, before an ace serve by Welch gave Thayer Central its first lead at 7-6.
Back-and-forth action highlighted play in the next several rallies with Tri County opening a 16-13 lead forcing Thayer Central to ask for time out.
Following the time out, Thayer Central regrouped and tied the score at 16 off a front row kill.
A Thayer Central hitting error tied the score at 19, before the Lady Titans regained a 21-19 lead off back-to-back kills from Maggie Harris.
Following a Tri County time out, the Lady Trojans tied the score at 21 on a kill by Shayna Lijewski.
That would be as close, as Tri County could get, as following a block by Brianna Connelly, Thayer Central sealed the win in set two off a hitting error by the Lady Trojans.
As was the case the previous two sets, Thayer Central trailed early on before grabbing its first lead at 9-8 off a front row tip by Harris.
Tri County called time out trailing, 11-8 trying to slow down the Lady Titans' momentum.
Once back on the floor, Thayer Central capitalized off three straight Tri County hitting errors to bump its lead to 14-8.
The momentum stuck with the Lady Titans, as the squad widened their advantage to 18-9 forcing the Lady Trojans to take their last time out of the set.
After digging themselves a nine-point deficit, Tri County fought back to draw within five points, 18-13 off a kill by Madison Freese.
That would be as close, as Tri County would come with Thayer Central holding a 23-16 advantage, the Lady Titans concluded the match scoring the last two points on a kill by Welch, and a double block from Harris and Katelyn Richardson.
“In the third set, the girls were finally able to play volleyball the way that they have practiced volleyball and that was a huge plus for us,”Harris commented.
It was a frustrating evening for Tri County, as they held leads in each set but were unable to finish out the set.
“We built leads on Thayer, but were unable to maintain those leads. That has kind of been the story of these girls. They have to figure out how to finish out matches. They have all the tools, we just have to finish a set when we have a lead,”Tri County Lady Trojans head volleyball coach Jamie Siems replied.
“After playing quite well and losing two close sets the team started making unforced errors late in the third set by hitting the ball into the net and hitting the ball out of bounds. You can't win games that way,”Siems said.
“There was nerves on both sides being the first match of the season. There was a full gym which was loud and quite warm and I felt we were ready to play, but we couldn't maintain the momentum when we had a lead. Losing those two tightly contested first two sets hurt. Missed serves at key times after a good run hurt us. Both teams struggled with their serving and that helped us stay in the match,”Siems remarked.
“I was pleased with the whole team on their play in the first two sets. We are trying to run a new setter and I feel we will get things worked out,”Siems stated.