Neither Eastern Brown nor West Union’s volleyball squads are having the season they hoped they would at the beginning of the year, but the teams had a chance to pick up a momentum-building victory last Monday night.
The Lady Warriors travelled to West Union for their final road Southern Hills Athletic Conference matchup of the season.
The teams started the first set evenly, tied at seven points apiece. After the Lady Dragons went on a 4-0 run to take an 11-7 lead, Eastern Brown head coach Carmela Reeves called a timeout to try to get her team back on track. It did not work too well, however, as the Lady Dragons would extend their lead to 20-9 before eventually winning the first set 25-14.
The teams switched sides after the set but the momentum stayed with West Union.
Although the Lady Warriors jumped out to a 3-1 lead, the Lady Dragons fought back and tied the game at four. Eastern Brown would retake the lead by a point and stretch it out to a 16-11 margin at one point, but West Union rallied.
The Lady Dragons turned a 20-15 deficit into a 20-20 tie, forcing Reeves to take another timeout. Eastern scored the next point to take a brief lead, but the Lady Dragons ripped off another five-point run, finishing the set on a 10-1 run to take the 25-21 victory.
Eastern Brown started the third set with a lead as well, jumping out in front 3-0. The teams battled throughout the third set, but West Union endured four ties and pulled away late for the victory.
Reeves said her team played better the final two sets thanks to some adjustments she made in the huddle during timeouts.
“We tried to tighten up our coverage a little bit,” Reeves said. “We had some nice serving and that really helped us get back in the game. They just started communicating a little better and we took off from there.
West Union picked up the victory without head coach Debbie McClanahan, who was recovering from a knee injury. Assistant coach Jessica Thompson filled in for McClanahan and said the team did a good job keeping their eye on the prize.
“The girls were able to keep their heads, stay focused and take care of business. They knew they needed to attack in order to win and that’s what they did.” Jessica Thompson, Assistant Coach
Thompson noted that there were times when her team failed to stay alert, and those times were the perfect chance for the Lady Warriors to strike.
“They communicated really well with each other tonight,” Thompson said. “When we were attacking and when we were aggressive we were able to control the court. When they stopped being aggressive and they started tipping and playing a little softer, that’s when Eastern would go on their runs and take over the court. They were able to keep it together and play aggressive.
Reeves and Eastern Brown take on Northwest in the first round of sectional play while West Union travels to North Adams. Reeves and the team are preparing themselves for a tough match.
“They’ll be a tough opponent,” Reeves said. “It should be a competitive game.”