Tri-County makes improvements in loss to Eagles

Sadie Little stood out for the Trojans when they hosted Keota on Sept. 26. Little led the team with nine digs and four kills.

The Tri-County volleyball team hosted Keota on Sept. 26, during Homecoming week. The two had played each other once this season, with Keota besting the Trojans a couple weeks prior. The Trojans played better overall, but still couldn’t get over the hump, taking another loss.

For both sides it was important to start off strong, gain confidence early and not allow the other team to play it close. For Keota, that's exactly what happened. The Eagles got out to an early lead, partially due to some errors made by Tri-County. For much of the first set the ball stayed at the Keota service line, along with the momentum.

Tri-County finally halted the Eagles surge, and began to break into the large deficit. Besides being a confidence booster at times, the rally wasn't enough, as the Trojans fell 25-16 in the first. The Trojan fans were silenced, the excitement leading up to the match had vanished.

Just when it seemed like all hope was lost, the Trojans went on a big run to start the second set. The script flipped with Tri-County getting consecutive serves as Keota began to make the mistakes. The crowd, namely student section, regained the energy which resulted in more points.

"We came out strong with good serves and our offense finding and hitting the open spots," said Trojan coach Sydney Davis. "We kept the lead the entire set, which is something we've struggled with this season."

Everything was going right for the Trojans, passing was consistent, powerful selective kills and aces were going for points. Even the front line managed to block a few potential kills, ramping up the energy. The girls weren't only playing some of their best volleyball of the season, they were having fun doing it.

Keota was held to single digits in the set, resulting in a 25-9 Trojan win. With the match score knotted at one, the final two sets could go either way. The third set turned out to be a determining factor in who went on to win the match.

With momentum on the Trojans side, following a dominant set, Keota needed to figure out something early. The two sides clashed throughout the set, neither getting more than a couple points ahead of the other. Momentum shifted from side to side, as both teams played like they had in their respective set victories.

In the end, Keota wound up taking the third 26-24, a score that could have easily gone the other way. Despite the narrow margin, the momentum now swung to the side of the Eagles.

The fourth set Tri-County started to break down, missing on swings and more importantly, on serves. With several points given away by form of error, the Eagles got out to a comfortable lead. Tri-County couldn't get enough of a run together to make things close, and would eventually fall 25-15.

"We stopped being aggressive and couldn't get our serves over and in," Davis said. "Serves are a very important key and could become the point difference at the end."

Several Trojans performed well at the service line, particularly in the second set. Myrissa Garber had the most serves of the match, 21 of her 22 attempts went in with three going for aces. Hannah Miover and Reace Thomas combined for 23 successful serves on 28 attempts, five of which went for aces.

Garber also finished with eight kills, seven digs and four assists in the loss. Sadie Little played a big part, leading the team with nine digs to go along with four kills.

On paper, the Trojans won their first set of the season. On the court, the Trojans made improvements, their potential truly showing in the second set. They looked to continue their positive play when they hosted Lynnville-Sully on October 2.