The Rebels took a thrilling four-set, non-conference road match 31-29, 25-23, 19-25, 26-24 at Science Hill to spoil the Lady Hilltoppers’ Senior Night celebratio.
“We just couldn’t finish,” Science Hill head coach Laura Cook said. “This kind of match is why you play the game, I told them. Every point was up for grabs and it could’ve gone either way. … All the seniors are transfers. We’re all transfers. Oddly enough, all the girls just stepped right in and they really meshed together. Everyone played a crucial part.”
Abbey Jayne led South with 16 kills and nine digs. Katie Watson had 10 kills as well for the Lady Rebels.
South’s Makkenzie Compton had 15 assists and 11 digs for a double-double on the night and Meredith St. Clair had 36 digs on the defensive side.
For Science Hill, seniors Claire Thomas and Attie Forbes had 17 and 11 kills, respectively. Alyssa Neal had 30 assists and the team’s other senior Meghan Carroll had 27 digs.
The first set took well over a half-hour before the Lady Rebels finally pulled it out. Science Hill had a lead at 20-19, but South tied the set at 24 and it was pretty much point-for-point after that. It was a set that proved to be a huge momentum boost for South.
“Everybody is getting better at this point in the season. It just takes a little momentum shift to get it going,” South head coach Wendy Ratliff said. “I do think we were free balling way too much. We were just trying to roll the ball over too much.”
In the second set, Science Hill jumped out to an early lead at 8-5, but South tied the set at 11. The Lady Rebels wouldn’t go away quietly.
South went up late and kept the pedal down, winning by two points after a late rally.
The breaks started to go the way of the Lady Hilltoppers in the third set after seizing the lead early once again.
Science Hill was able to put away the set and get within a game of South.
In the deciding fourth set, the Lady ’Toppers were down 15-5 at one point, but rallied and tied the game at 24. However, the Lady Rebels rose to the challenge and were able to put the match away by winning the last two points to escape with a big non-conference win.
Science Hill will play its final regular season match at Volunteer on Tuesday. South will be on the road at Elizabethton on Thursday for the final match of the season.