The Clever Lady Jays took out the Ash Grove Lady Pirates in two close sets Tuesday night. The Lady Pirates had to play catch-up in the second set after falling behind 20-13, but the Lady Jays held them off, finishing 26-24 for the win.
After the Lady Pirates came from behind in the first set to tie the score 16-all, the Lady Jays turned up the heat. Offense put down the remaining nine points for the Lady Jays, capped off by a winning kill by outside hitter Madison Newman, 25-22.
The Lady Jays took pulled ahead early in the second set, leading 13-6 after a kill by middle hitter Taylor Menzies (5’10”).
The Lady Jays’ coach Angie Wise encouraged her team to keep pushing back.
“Momentum from the first game got us going,” said Wise. “We had some great defensive plays. We were flowing really well there for a while.”
The Lady Pirates’ late momentum was too little too late, as coach Stephanie Curbow explained.
“The second set we needed to just start from the get-go, and we didn’t,” said Curbow. “Like I told the girls in the huddle, we started too late and got ourselves in a rut. We were not able to pull ourselves out of it. Tonight, Clever was the better team.”
Catie Martin helped narrow the gap for the Lady Pirates, scoring three kills and a block. Trailing 21-16, the Lady Pirates went on a 7-2 run to tie the score at 23-all.
The Lady Jays’ coach Angie Wise took a timeout to compose her team.
“At the very end, we called timeout and said just relax and get a pass–play our kind of ball,” said Wise. “This is a situation for us to build our mental toughness. Ash Grove was playing well. We hit a few out of bounds; had some hitting errors there. They got right back into it and took advantage of our errors.”
Looking at a possible third set, each team scored on hitting errors to tie 24-all.
The Lady Jays put an offensive point on the board, and a net call finally put an end to the Lady Pirates’ comeback, 26-24.
Harper Little and Emily Mendenhall led Clever with nine kills apiece, while Madi Wilson added eight digs.
The Lady Jays improve to 15-4 with this win. Clever will host Hollister on Thursday. Ash Grove (11-9-2) will face Stockton on October 3.