The Eminence Warriors volleyball team hosted Carroll County on Thursday night in their second district seeding contest of the season and came away with a convincing 3-0 thrashing of the Lady Panthers.
The win marks a Warriors’ sweep of the Lady Panthers, and a 5-0 district record.
The Warriors jumped on top early in game 1 with strong serving from GaiLynn Carroll, who opened with two aces igniting a 6-0 run that forced the Lady Panthers into an early timeout.
Carroll County responded with a 5-0 run to pull within 6-5. But the Warriors got the serve back on a kill by Brie Prewitt. Emily Coomes began another big run for the Warriors with two more aces. After a Carroll County hitting error, Coomes served another ace to make it 11-5.
Eminence slowly pulled away in the game, as Tiffany Thomas was tough at the net. The Warriors built the lead to eight points at 18-10, in a run that featured two blocks and two kills by Thomas.
At 20-12 the Lady Panthers reeled off four straight points that forced EHS into a timeout.
Prewitt had another kill coming out of the timeout to get the Warriors back on track. The Panthers got one more kill before Coomes went to the backline and served the game out at 25-17.
The second game started out close as the teams traded points. At 13-11 in favor of the Warriors, Coomes got a kill that started 5-0 run to give the Warriors some breathing room.
Carroll County called timeout to stop the run and immediately answered with a kill and an ace to make it 18-13, but the Warriors closed the game out with a 7-2 run that included two kills and a block from Thomas, and an ace each from Prewitt and Destiny Dale.
The Warriors jumped on top 6-1 in the third game but the Lady Panthers showed some resolve and fought their way back into the game.
The Lady Panthers closed to within one point at 11-10 before the Warriors scored eight of the next nine points to go up 19-11. Carroll County seemed to be self-destructing as they made five hitting errors in the run. But the Lady Panthers got it together as the Warriors seemed to lose focus and closed to within three points at 21-18.
Thomas came up with a big block to stop Carroll County’s momentum and make it 22-18
At 24-20 Carroll County scored three consecutive points to pull within one but a hitting error by the Lady Panthers ended the comeback and gave the Warriors a sweep of the Panthers in the season series.
Coach Stephanie Barrows thought her team took it to another level against the Lady Panthers. “The first two games were two of the best games they’ve played all year,” Barrows said. “We lost a little focus in the third game but overall, it was a really good performance.
“Tiffany was dominant at the net and GaiLynn was really focused on her goals before the game and you could tell by the way she played. Emily had her usual consistent game. Madison Pittman covered everything against Carroll. I was worried about her because she had to sit out the Valley match because of a sore back, but she got to everything.”
EHS 2, Valley 0
The Warriors took out their frustration from their second loss of the season on Valley on Sept. 18, beating the Lady Vikings 25-7, 25-4.
“After the tough loss we were very focused and prepared to play against Valley,” Barrows said.
EHS 1, KCD 2
The Warriors were caught off guard by a much-improved Bearcat squad who took it to the Warriors in the first game, winning 25-14. The KCD front line had seven kills and 6 blocks in running away from the Warriors.
The Warriors recovered in the second to win 25-15 behind strong net play from Thomas and Coomes, and good passing from Renee Toole.
“Renee Toole had one of her best games of the year against KCD. She didn’t let anything fall,” Barrows said.
The Bearcats’ frontline reasserted control in the final game and the Warriors had trouble with consistency in their serving. The Bearcats came out and started the game with two aces and two kills to go up 4-1 and never trailed as they pulled away for the 25-15 win.
“I think we were not prepared for blockers and hitters that were that good,” Barrows said. “I think we underestimated them. I don’t think that will happen the next time we play them.”