Blue Ridge Volleyball Loses to Tri-Valley in HOIC Tournament Fifth-place Match

LEXINGTON, Ill. -- A year after winning the Heart of Illinois Conference Tournament, the Lady Knights will enter the postseason on a sour note.

Blue Ridge fell short of a fifth-place finish on Saturday, losing to the Lady Vikings 25-18, 25-22.

In the first game, the Lady Knights developed an 8-3 lead. After Tri-Valley's Kara Neisen tied the game at 3-3 with a serving error, Kaitlyn Zelhart (pictured below) picked up the next two points to give Blue Ridge the lead.

However, she also hit a ball out of bounds to give the Lady Vikings the side-out point that cut the Lady Knights' lead to 8-4. From there, Tri-Valley scored 11 of the next 15 points to take a 15-12 lead.

"We went up 8-3 in the first set, and we weren’t mentally tough enough or strong enough to sustain those drives," Blue Ridge coach Evan Miles said. "The energy just wasn’t there."

The Lady Vikings went on tho develop leads of 19-14, 22-16 and 24-18 before scoring their 25th point of the first game.

"Our defense wasn’t very consistent tonight," Miles said. "We do have a key injury [to Jordan Wheeler], but that’s no excuse. That’s not a good way to go into regionals. Hopefully, we can correct that at Monday’s practice."

In the second game, Tri-Valley scored the first three points before a Kaitlyn Zelhart hit gave Blue Ridge the side-out point. From there, it was Korie Reynolds' turn to serve.

Via three consecutive serves from Reynolds, the Lady Knights gained a 4-3 lead in the second game. Then an Amber Blazek hit increased their lead to 5-3.

Reynolds (pictured above) finished the match with nine service points.

"I have confidence in her and the way [her serves] have been going in practice as the season progressed," Miles said. "She’s really developing; that’s what we need and what she gave us in the back row. We’ve had some good, younger girls come in and step up and play well. We just need to be consistent."

Tri-Valley tied the second game at 5-5 with a Reynolds hitting error and a Jessica Neumann spike. Then each team swapped side-out points three times before the Lady Vikings developed an 11-8 lead.

Blue Ridge scored four of the next five points to tie the second game at 12-12. The Lady Knights' 12th point was scored via Jessica Schrock (pictured below) kill.

Tri-Valley took a 21-18 lead, the 21th point scored with a serve by Blayne Therien that was not returned. Then the Lady Knights scored the next three points, tying the second game with a Blazek serve that landed under the arms of Stefanie Sanidas.

Sanidas gave the Lady Vikings a 22-21 via kill, and her team scored three of the next four points to clinch the match.

Kaitlyn Zelhart finished the match with nine kills and 10 digs. Emily Zelhart (pictured below) had 16 assists and eight digs while Schrock recorded seven kills.

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to a record of 21-7. The Lady Knights will begin play in the Farmer City Blue Ridge Regional against Decatur Christian on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

"We’ve got to have a great, hard practice on Monday," Miles said. "It’s got to be one of our hardest practices. Obviously, we would like to win the championship on Thursday, but we’ve still got to improve. Even this late in the season, we’ve still got to get better. Right now, we’re not peaking, and we need to be peaking."

No comments:

Post a Comment

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