Eastern Brown hangs on to win early SHAC match up –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Tuesday, Aug. 22 marked the head coaching debut of Rachel Sims as the new leader of the Peebles Lady Indians volleyball program, but the schedule did her no favors as the 2017 season opener saw Sims and the Lady Indians go on the road in Southern Hills Athletic Conference play, facing a very solid team in the Eastern Lady Warriors. The Peebles girls put up a good fight, especially in the final two sets, but saw their season begin with a three-set loss at Eastern Brown, 25-16, 25-23, 25-21.
“We hadn’t played for a week so we’re just getting back into a groove,” said Coach Sims. “We had moments tonight where we looked fantastic and things could have gone either way those last two sets. It seemed to be one step forward, two steps back all night.”
The opening set was a back and forth affair with neither team able to gain more than a two-point advantage through the first 18 combined points. A kill and two service points from Kylie Sims kept the Lady Indians within 10-8 of their hosts, but with Eastern Brown leading 14-11, the Lady Warriors’ Mikayla Farris ripped off three straight service points to give her team some breathing room and a seven-point lead.
That Eastern run stretched to nine out of ten points when the Lady Warriors gained the serve back quickly and a pair of aces from Allison Daniels put the home team comfortably in front 23-12. With some nice serves from Tatum Arey, the Lady Indians were able to score four of the next five, but a kill at the net by Taylor Dotson was the final point in a 25-16 Eastern first set win.
Set number two began a lot like set number one, with the two sides staying within two or three points of each other, until a trio of service points from Christian Reed gave Peebles an 11-7 lead. The Lady Warriors quickly battled back, though a nice cross-court return by Madison Pierce kept the visitors in front at 12-10. A Pierce kill stretched the Peebles advantage to 14-11, but a matching kill by Farris brought the serve back to the Lady Warriors and they took advantage in a big way.
Eastern’s Madilynn Murphy stepped to the service line and reeled off seven in a row as the home team turned a deficit into a 19-15 lead. Trailing later 21-16, the Lady Indians fought back with a pair of service points from Hope Brown to pull within two at 21-19. The two teams then began trading points until two serves from Reed made things interesting at 24-23 Eastern, but on the next point a Peebles return hit the beams in the ceiling and the Lady Indians couldn’t get it back over the net and the home team survived to take the second set 25-23.
In the third set, the Lady Warriors jumped to a quick 6-2 lead, only to see the Peebles squad grab the next two points on a Reed Kill and a Brown serve. Up by two, Eastern Brown got the serve back on a Haley Fannin kill and again took full advantage as Farris nailed four straight to put the home side up 11-4. Back came the Lady Indians behind some fine all-around play from the sophomore Reed that included four service points and again her team was right back in the hunt, trailing just 13-10.
Eastern came back with three straight to go up by six and a later service ace from Farris made it 21-15 Lady Warriors, who could now see the match in their sights, but no one told that to the Lady Indians, who once again rallied behind the serves of Reed to crawl back to within 22-21. But as it had been in the second set, the Peebles rally ran out of gas and the final three points of the set went to the Lady Warriors 25-21 win gave them the third set and the match in their SHAC opener for 2017.
“Eastern is a very tough team,” said Coach Sims. “I think we will get some momentum going as the season progresses.”
After the tough conference loss, the Lady Indians had little time to fret over it as they were right back in action on Wednesday night, hosting Paint Valley in a non-conference tilt, and then back in SHAC action on Thursday, traveling to Whiteoak to face the Lady Cats.
In the JV match up, it was Peebles winning in straight sets, 25-13, 25-18.