Corinth Holders volleyball coach Charles Riley, immediately after his team’s 3-1 win (25-23, 25-11, 17-25, 27-25) over Two Rivers 3A Conference opponent Cleveland Tuesday night, was as excited about his squad’s fight as he was the victory that created a three-way tie for the lead in the conference.
The Pirates, defending regular season Two Rivers champions, improved to 4-1 in the conference and 10-5 overall tied atop the league standings with Cleveland (10-5, 4-1) and Triton.
Corinth Holders got off to a quick start in taking the first two games of the match before dropping the third set after an adjustment from the Rams.
“They made a big adjustment in game three and they started tipping to score,” said Riley. “So we went single block and everybody else play coverage so we had more coverage on defense. Once we got comfortable with that, we tried to switch it up there at the end to go double blocks with our back row getting more comfortable reading the tips and they did a good job at getting the ball from defense to our setters and made some things happen on offense.”
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Trailing 23-21 in the fourth and deciding set, the Pirates’ Jessica Aycock and Grace Pittman came up with a huge block to earn a side out. Delaney Colangelo later gave the Pirates a lead on a service ace, a Pittman solo block recaptured the lead after a Cleveland side out before the Rams’ 25th attack error of the night conceded the match.
THEY SAID IT
After a spirited talk after the second set, Johnston’s Rams came out firing in the third set and then took a 16-10 advantage in the fourth set.
“I was very proud of how much they came back,” Cleveland coach Shelley Johnston said. “At the beginning of the game, they weren’t very coachable. I kept telling them that tip was there, that tip was there and they weren’t doing it.
“Those first two games we played were probably the worst two games we’ve played in a really long time. But they started playing better in the third and fourth games.”
THREE TO KNOW
Jamie Turner, Corinth Holders: Turner led the Pirates with 13 kills on the night which included a cross-court smash that won the opening game of the match.
Taylor Thomas, Cleveland: The junior outside hitter was tough at the net and led all players with 17 kills.
Megan Philipson, Corinth Holders: The junior libero for the Pirates was key in reading the Rams’ tips especially when Corinth Holders relied on single blockers. Philipson ended with 32 digs and 21 service points.
Jenna Myer led the Rams with 45 assists for the match, including 15 in the third set, and also had eight aces.
BY THE NUMBERS
158: Kills on the season for Cleveland’s Taylor Thomas.
11: Combined blocks between the Pirates’ Jessica Aycock and Grace Pittman.
10: Kills from Cleveland’s Taylor Hein and Ashely Talbot as well as from the Pirates’ Ali Blanco.
7: Tips that scored for the Rams in the third set.
5: Wins Cleveland reeled off in a row before dropping Tuesday night’s contest.