Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
The 2016 season came to an abrupt finish on Oct, 18 for the Peebles Lady Indians varsity volleyball squad as they squared off on their home court with the Lucasville Valley Lady Indians in Division III sectional tournament action. The two teams had met way back on Aug. 24, where Valley had taken the match in three sets and unfortunately for the Peebles girls and their fans, the tournament match on Tuesday night had the exact same result.
In nearly every sporting event, there is a point in the game or match where the momentum shifts and that was definitely the case in Tuesday night’s sectional volleyball match. The turning point came late in the first set when Peebles was two points away from winning it and then gave it away, allowing Valley to come from behind and take that set and eventually the match with it.
The first set was a tight one most of the way, with neither side gaining more than a one or two point advantage until Peebles’ Brittany Lloyd fired off three service points, aided by a Madison Pierce kill, to give the home team a 20-16 lead. A nice block by Tatum Arey helped push the Peebles lead up to 23-19 and the home side looked on the verge of a win, but Valley had other ideas.
A series of service points by Valley’s Leah Shepherd quickly gave her team a 24-23 lead before a Josey Myers kill tied the score. After a side out went to Valley, another Myers kill tied it at 25 but a kill by Valley’s Marissa Markins led to the visitors grabbing the final two points and taking the first set 27-25.
That first set collapse seemed to take some of the wind out of the Peebles sails as Valley raced out to an 8-4 second set advantage. Back came the home team with three Arey serves and another Pierce kill tying the score at 9, but Valley later sent Faith Brown to the service line and seven straight serves combined with numerous unforced errors by Peebles gave the guests a 21-12 lead and they went on to take the second set 25-18.
Down two sets to none, the Peebles girls got off to a rocky start in the third set, falling behind 10-4 and forcing coach Katrina Obenshain to use a timeout. An Arey kill and a service ace from Hope Brown narrowed the margin for Peebles but that was as close as they would get. Leading 12-9, Valley sent Kaity Howard back to serve and she reeled off seven straight to put the home team on the verge of elimination. Three more service points from Destiny Gardner and an ace from Bailee Day closed the deal as the visiting Lady Indians moved on in the sectional tourney, taking the third and final set 25-12.
With the defeat, the Lady Indian said goodbye to three graduating seniors, all of whom were crucial to any success that Peebles had this season- Brittany Lloyd, Jessica Johnson, and Sara McFarland.