The match was tight from the outset between the Lady Hilltoppers and the Falcons as they played for the right to take on Tennessee High in the District 1-AAA tournament final.
Science Hill won the first set 25-22 in resounding fashion with a late 5-1 run that put away the Falcons. Seniors Abby Stout and Chloe Foster were big reasons why the Lady ’Toppers won the first set as they made several key blocks that preserved the lead later in the set.
In the second set, the offense for Science Hill that seemed to be non-existent against Tennessee High on Wednesday was awake and clicking on all cylinders as they jumped out to a quick 7-4 lead over Volunteer. The Lady ’Toppers were picking on the Falcons’ libero early as the backline for Volunteer had holes in it that cost the Falcons a few points early in the set.
Volunteer could get no momentum in the second set as Science Hill took a commanding 16-9 lead that warranted a timeout from the Volunteer bench and an assessment of how to stop the bleeding.
The Falcons would not be silenced as they made a 4-0 spurt out of the timeout to trail 16-13 going into the latter stages of the set.
After an 8-0 run by the Falcons, Science Hill was finally able to answer and tie the set at 17 before Volunteer regained the lead at 18-17. The final stages of the set went back and forth with several lead changes before Volunteer was able to take the second set, 25-22.
“They took the momentum and kept it,” said Science Hill head coach Laura Cook. “Our seniors came in and were open to everything. They led by example and I’m proud of them. It was a good first group.”
The third set was all Volunteer from the start as they jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead and the Lady ’Toppers had a multitude of balls that were hit out of bounds that were looking like the demise of them. The Falcons won the second set 25-16 in a commanding fashion.
“Alyssa Hatley [of Volunteer] is just hard to contain and very good,” said Cook. “She’s a force. We just try to get in the best spot and pray. This is the time that she is expected to take over the game.”
The fourth set was another back and forth set as neither team could get more than four point lead until the end when the Falcons ultimately distanced themselves from Science Hill. Volunteer was able to put away the ’Toppers’ season 25-21.
Stout once again led Science Hill with 11 kills and three aces. Claire Thomas had 11 kills as well. Chloe Foster had a big night in the loss with 35 assists and five kills. Jessie Franks led the Lady ’Toppers on defense with 11 digs.