Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 12:12 am | Updated: 12:16 am, Wed Oct 7, 2015.
By AARON KENNEDY firstname.lastname@example.org
ROSSVILLE – The Rossville Lady Hornets volleyball team recovered from a 25-20 first-set loss to win the next three, 25-21, 25-18 and 25-10 on Tuesday night against the Faith Christian Eagles.
“I told them after the first set that the team that picked up the most ball and played with the most heart was going to win the match,” Rossville head coach Rochelle Fakes said. “And that is something that we have struggled with – playing with that intensity and that desire. They knew. That’s all it took. I was proud of them because they didn’t quit, and they played harder than they played before. We are getting there, so that is a positive thing.”
Rossville held off the Eagles in the close second set. Leading 22-21, the Hornets scored the final three points to tie the match up at one set apiece.
Tied at 11 in the third set, the Hornets built a 17-12 lead, but the Eagles were able to pull back within a point after scoring four straight points. Rossville responded to the Faith Christian threat, though, going on a six-point run before winning 25-18 and taking a 2-1 lead in the match. The winning point came on an ace served by sophomore Parker George.
“I was pleased with our serving,” Fakes said. “When they result in an ace – that is way better. We don’t usually have that many aces.”
Rossville’s confidence was on the rise as the match went on, and that was on display in the fourth set, when the Hornets scored the first eight points behind the serving of Maggie Deboy.
The Eagles were never a threat to take the lead in the final set. Up 14-8, the Hornets went on a five-point run. After the Eagles were able to string together consecutive points, Rossville closed the match with a six-point run to win 25-10.
Three of the final six points came on kills from junior middle hitter Keely Criswell, who finished with 15 kills and four aces.
“Keely did a great job defensively,” Fakes added. “You just see it in her face. She was really focused on playing defense and did a great job. We were having a hard time getting the ball to her in the middle where she can do something with it, but they kept fighting. I was pleased with how they played.”
Deboy finished with nine kills and nine aces for Rossville, while Mallory Roberts had nine kills and two aces, and senior setter Brittyn Oliver had 28 assists and four kills.
The Hornets are back on their home court tonight for a match against Lafayette Central Catholic.
“This is the time where we want to keep getting better,” Fakes said. “Hopefully we will gel enough that we can scare or, at least, surprise somebody at the sectional.”