It seemed as though each time Corinth Holders put together a run against Two Rivers 3A Conference opponent South Johnston in their key volleyball match Thursday night, the Trojans would respond with a run of their own.
Such was the case in the fifth and final game but this time the Pirates had a little something left in the tank as they tallied the match’s final two points to come away with a 3-2 (21-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-22, 16-14) win.
Corinth Holders (8-7, 3-1), after rallying from down 20-14 in the fourth game to extend the match, remained hot to begin the fifth and final game. Behind solid serving from Megan Philipson and Julie Weisenberg, the Pirates built a 13-4 lead.
Emma Blackman’s kill gave the Trojans a much-needed side out, however, and five unforced Pirates errors contributed to a 10-1 run that saw South Johnston tie the game at 14-14.
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Haley Stancil had an answer of her own this time, however, and moved the visitors to match point with a strike down the line only to be followed by an ace from teammate Katelynn Leach to end the contest.
The win moved Corinth Holders to second place just one game behind Triton and one game ahead of Cleveland and the Trojans.
With South Johnston (12-3, 2-2) holding a 21-18 lead late in the fourth game eyeing a chance to close out the match, the Pirates’ Grace Pittman came through with a cross-court kill shot to earn the side out. Corinth Holders than strung together four more points behind the strong service game of Leach to put itself into great position to take the game and even the match.
They said it
“I’ve been a big proponent of the ‘next play’,” Corinth Holders coach Charles Riley said. “Being up 13-4, maybe we relaxed a little bit. Even when they came back and tied it up, I kept thinking that we just needed one stop and we got it with out senior Haley Stancil on the outside.”
“I thought we were flat all night,” South Johnston coach Matthew Adams said. “We didn’t want it bad enough tonight but I will say the girls completely surprised me when we were down 13-4 and they came back to tie it at 14—that gives us something to build on.”
Three who mattered
Haley Stancil, Corinth Holders: Stancil led the Pirates with 15 kills from her outside hitter position. None were bigger, however, than her down-the-line blast late in the fifth game that ended the Trojans’ 10-1 run. Stancil was also a force at the net often blocking or tipping the Trojans’ attacks.
Kelly Ammons, Corinth Holders: After the first set in which the Pirates attack had a tough time getting into a rhythm, Ammons helped to get the timing right with her passes to her hitters. The senior setter finished her night with 19 assists.
Selena Flores, South Johnston: The junior outside hitter led the Trojans with 14 kills. Flores also came through with several crucial digs at key times and was able to vary her attack through mixing up speeds and locations.
By the numbers
14: Number of aces served by the Pirates for the match.
15: Consecutive number of points reeled off by Corinth Holders to take control of the second game.
13: Number of kills from South Johnston’s Emma Blackman.
10: Number of sets the Trojans played in their back-to-back five-game defeats to Triton and Corinth Holders last week.