The Eminence Warriors volleyball team appeared to be a step slow, possibly still smarting from their Class A tournament defeat to Walton, as they hosted the Carroll County Lady Panthers on Aug. 27.
The Warriors lost the match 3-1 and fell to 2-1 in district play.
The opening game started with a missed serve by the Warriors and they never fully recovered. Although the game was close in the early stages, the Warriors could not put a run together.
With the score standing at 7-7 Carroll got the first breakthrough run of the game with a kill, a block and an ace to go up 10-7. Sensing a big run coming for the Lady Panthers, Eminence called timeout. The strategy temporarily worked, but at 11-8, the Lady Panthers put together a 6-0 run to go up 17-8. From there Carroll County sailed to the 25-16 win.
In the second game, the Warriors were down early at 5-2 but never let the Lady Panthers get too far ahead, and eventually took the lead at 12-11on an ace by Tiffany Thomas.
A fake set by Gailynn Carroll put the Warriors up 13-11. The Warriors increased the lead and seemed to have momentum at 18-14, but Carroll County came storming back with a 5-0 run to tie the score at 19.
The next play, a tip by Carroll seemed to energize the Warriors to the level of intensity shown in previous matches and Tiffany Thomas followed the play with a forceful kill to give the Warriors a 2-point lead. From there Eminence went on to win the second game 25-20.
In the third game, Carroll County jumped out to 3-0 lead and maintained a small lead until, at 4-3, they went on an 8-0 run that forced Coach Stephanie Barrows into a timeout.
After the timeout, Carroll County scored another point before the Warriors were able to finally stop the run and regain the serve. The teams exchanged points for several serves before the Lady Panthers put together a mini-run to go up 18-7.
EHS tried to get back in the game and narrowed the margin to 21-17 on an ace by Emily Coomes. But the Warriors would get no closer as Carroll County went on to take the third game 25-18.
The fourth game was close in the opening stages as both teams traded serves. At 8-8, Carroll County reeled off four straight points to go up 12-8. The run featured nice net play by the Lady Panthers.
The margin stayed close until the Lady Panthers stretched the lead to 20-15. At that point a mishit by Carroll County and an ace from Brie Prewitt narrowed the score to 20-17 and Carroll County called timeout in order to stop any hopes of an Eminence rally. The timeout was in vain. Carroll County hit the ball out on the next play and Prewitt served up another ace to make it 20-19.
On the ensuing play the Lady Panthers got a big kill to stop the EHS momentum and take a 21-19 lead. From there the game remained close with the teams trading points until Carroll County finally closed out the match 25-23 on a net serve by Eminence.
Barrows was unusually succinct regarding the team’s performance.
“I really don’t have much to say on this game except that the team has learned from this loss and now know what they have to do to achieve their goals,” she said. “Carroll won because we did not play as a team. We have been working on serve receiving, serving and playing together as team.”
EHS 2 Evangel 0
The Warriors bounced back from the Carroll loss to squash Evangel Christian 25-8, 25-5.
“The girls responded well against Evangel coming off the loss to Carroll,” Barrows said. “They went out and executed the plays very well. Evangel is very young and inexperienced so it was hard for them to get really into the game. They had as much energy as they could when playing a team like that. They went out very intense and ready to play!”
Barrows wanted the team to focus on the areas that she thought needed the most improvement coming out of the Carroll match and she felt the team did that.
“The main focus of this game was to set up plays and work to receive and they just did that,” she said. “They went out very intense and ready to play! I was really proud of their performance.”