Straughn rallies by Pleasant Home in four sets
Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Straughn dropped the first set but took the next three and defeated Pleasant Home 3-1 in a varsity volleyball match Monday, Sept. 18.
The Lady Tigers improved to 11-4 on the season with a 23-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 win and ran their winning streak to eight. The Lady Eagles saw their record fall to 11-5.
“I told the girls we didn’t need to go five sets with a big area match at New Brockton the next day. We were kind of sloppy tonight with more net calls than we’ve had all season. They did a lot of things to clean up, but we didn’t do some things on defense that affected us. I’m really proud of the girls for pushing to come back after losing the first set. We definitely have the fight to win,” SHS Head Coach Deidra Burleson said.
After the two teams traded the first two points, Hailey Ward gave Pleasant Home a 2-1 lead with a kill. Bri Hall followed suit and pushed the margin to 7-2. Faced with a 12-4 deficit, Straughn went on an 8-1 run and crept within one. Mallory Hall began the surge with a block as Claire Howe added an ace. Momentum swung back to the home side when three more kills by Award opened up an 18-14 cushion. The Lady Tigers were not denied and once again fought back. Kyleigh Jackson tied the score at 20-20 with a clutch kill. Smith hit two more kills as the sides battled to 23-23. The Lady Eagles held on with the final two points for a 1-0 lead.
The second set was nearly a mirror image of the first. Audrey Lindsey had a block before an ace by Hall and kill from Smith made the score 6-2. Arina Thai tallied two aces, while Howe delivered a kill and a block as the lead grew to 14-3. Hall widened the margin to double digits with a kill as Straughn looked to be in control with a 19-8 advantage. Addi Hughes jumpstarted an 11-3 spree with a block that saw Pleasant Home whittle the deficit to three at 22-19. Ora Hall delivered a block for set point and evened the match at 1-1.
With the match now even, the third set was competitive in the beginning, as both teams wanted a leg up. Howe gave the Lady Tigers a 5-4 lead until Meredith Wilson had a kill for a 6-5 lead. Lindsey gave her team an 8-6 margin, and Smith hit a powerful kill for an 11-9 lead. The Lady Eagles responded and got within one at 13-12. Two kills from Jackson and another by Howe stretched the advantage to 22-14. Smith ended a stretch where the home side scored five of six points with a kill for set point. The visitors took a 2-1 lead after holding on at the end.
Similar to the first set, Ward connected for two kills and helped Pleasant Home grab a 7-5 lead. A kill and an ace by O. Hall drew even, and Howe knocked a kill for an 8-7 margin. M. Hall gave Straughn a 14-9 lead with a punishing kill as the cushion remained five at 16-11. Hughes had a block and a kill, while Ward picked up another kill during a 7-0 run and gave the hosts an 18-16 lead. Smith brought the visitors even until consecutive kills from O. Hall pushed the lead to 21-18. The Lady Eagles answered by closing the deficit to 22-21, but Howe and O. Hall took it to match point with their two kills. The Lady Tigers completed the comeback when an attack error sealed the victory.
Following an area match at New Brockton on Tuesday, Straughn remains on the road for a match Thursday, Sept. 21, at Goshen. Pleasant Home visits Andalusia on the same day.