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    Leah Holland sends the ball across the net during the Lady Blues’ 3-1 loss to Wichita Falls Rider on Sept. 20. Holland finished the match with a team-high 7 kills. The Lady Blues dropped their first match since Aug. 27.

Lady Blues’ streak ends against Rider

The Lady Blues volleyball team dropped their first match in nearly a month when the team hosted Rider on Sept. 20. It was a tightly contested match which lasted four sets and ended with a 3-1 win by the Lady Raiders.

The opening set was played similarly to the match against Wylie on Sept. 17. The Raiders feature a tall blocking line at the net and the Lady Blues often struggled to get the ball past the block. Of the team’s 24 points in the opening set, only 10 of them came earned by the Lady Blues. After a tip by the Lady Raiders gave the Lady Blues a 1-0 lead, Morgan Patterson served the first of two aces in the match to increase the lead to 2-0. That is the largest lead held by the Lady Blues in the opening set. The Lady Raiders tied the set on back-to-back kills. The lead changed hands just one time when Marilyn Milton sent the ball flying into the net. Reece Echols tied the set at 17-17 with an ace. However, the Lady Raiders quickly regained the lead. The Lady Raiders never looked back and took the first set 26-24. 

The second set was tightly contested. The two teams traded the lead early and often in the set with neither team able to gain more than a two-point advantage for a majority of the set. Senior Alex Husen played an impressive stretch in the middle of the set by scoring on three of four scoring plays to eventually give the Lady Blues a 17-15 lead. Her first kill of the set broke a 13-13 tie. She scored from a tip four plays later to break another tie at 15-15. Her third point in this span came on a diving dig that was returned into the net. The score drew even once more at 20-20 after a kill by Leah Holland. The Lady Raiders ended the set by scoring five straight points to take the 2-0 lead in the match. 

Patterson scored her second of two aces in the third set to open a 1-0 lead. However, the lead was short-lived as on the next rally she hit the ball out of bounds. The score evened again at 3-3 after a tip by Addison Kimberling was returned out of bounds. On the following play, Kimberling had another tip that was returned into the antennae. The Lady Blues held their largest lead of the night of only four points at 12-8. With the score even at 21, coach Marci Faulk called a timeout to calm the team down while being four points away from dropping the match in straight sets. Holland secured the 25-23 win with a kill.

It was a short-lived comeback attempt for the Lady Blues who dropped the final set 25-17. Much like the first three, the fourth set was another competitive set with neither team able to gain more than a three-point lead for a majority of the set. Reese scored on a kill to open the set, but the score bounced back and forth and was tied at 13-13. From there, the Lady Raiders went on a 3-0 run before Faulk called timeout at 16-13. Out of the timeout, the Lady Blues struggled as the Lady Raiders scored nine of the final 11 points to secure the match with a 25-17 victory. The final two points came from out of bounds calls against the Lady Blues. 

 

For the rest of the story, see the Wednesday, Sept. 25 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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