Blue Ridge Volleyball Nets Second Big HOIC Win in 24 Hours at Tri-Valley

BLUE RIDGE def. TRI-VALLEY 26-24, 25-23

DOWNS, Ill. -- After his Lady Knights lost to El Paso-Gridley last Thursday, head coach Evan Miles told his players they could afford one hiccup in the Heart of Illinois Conference.

With previously-unbeaten Deer Creek-Mackinaw next on its schedule and a road match against Tri-Valley shortly afterwards, it looked like there could be more hiccups to come.

Blue Ridge took care of both opponents. Less than 24 hours after beating the Lady Chiefs in two close sets, the Lady Knights found some clutch magic once again in Downs.

"It’s gut-check time," Miles said. "Beating an undefeated team and coming here in a hostile, rivalry-type atmosphere at Tri-Valley on a rescheduled date and shortened time shows a lot of perseverance, so we control our own destiny. Things are looking positive."

In the first set, Blue Ridge found itself down 24-22. Then Jordan Wheeler hit a set-saving shot over the net with her outstretched left arm.

When Tri-Valley tried to return Wheeler's hit, but hit the ball out of bounds on their right side instead, the Lady Knights decreased their deficit to 24-23.

From there, it was Kaitlyn Zelhart's turn to serve. She tied the game for Blue Ridge with a serve.

Then, Kaitlyn Zelhart (pictured above) gave the Lady Knights a 25-24 lead when she served the ball and Tri-Valley's Lauren Sellers failed to return it. Blue Ridge got the set-winning point when the Lady Vikings were called for an improper hit.

For Blue Ridge fans at the match against Dee-Mack, the comeback should be a familiar sight. The Lady Chiefs were one point away from winning the second set when the Lady Knights rallied to win the set, and the match along with it.

“Our girls are very good with our backs against the wall," Miles said. "I wish we could play like that consistently throughout the match, but [they’re] the cardiac kids; they have a way to persevere, fight and scrap and finish things. That’s very positive.”

The second set against Tri-Valley was another back-and-forth affair.

The Lady Vikings had a 12-9 lead when Kara Neisen spiked the ball diagonally to the right side. Then Blue Ridge took a 15-14 lead when Stefanie Sanidas returned a Kaitlyn Zelhart serve out of bounds.

Wheeler (pictured above) increased the Lady Knights' lead to 17-14 with a diagonal tap from Blue Ridge's right side that barely made it over the net in the middle.

The Lady Knights led 19-16 when Wheeler and Gabby Pearl were at the net for a block. But Tri-Valley came right back, tying the second set at 21-21 with a Cassie Norman serve that barely landed in bounds on the Lady Vikings' right side.

With the score tied at 22-22, Neisen's service error gave the Lady Knights a 23-22 lead. Two Kaitlyn Zelhart spikes, both on which Tri-Valley committed some hitting errors, clinched the set and the match for Blue Ridge.

Kaitlyn Zelhart finished the match with nine kills, 13 digs and one block. Emily Zelhart (No. 12, pictured below) contributed with 12 assists.

Wheeler had three aces and 13 digs. Chandler Morrow collected nine digs.

With the win over the Lady Vikings, Blue Ridge is now 14-3 overall and sits alone at second place in the HOIC with a record of 5-1. The Lady Knights will be at home on Monday, when they take on LeRoy.

JV Score -- Tri-Valley won 25-19, 25-22.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.