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.