Taylor Day of North Union sets the ball during the opening set of a match against River Valley. The Lady Cats where able to take the match to five sets after going down two sets early, but the Vikings pulled off the win 3-2.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
Momentum is an intangible aspect of sports and in volleyball that intangible is more crucial then ever. The Lady Wildcats of North Union experienced momentum swings several times on Tuesday when they dropped a close match to River Valley 3-2 during their last game of the regular season.
River Valley had the early momentum in the contest and was able to break away from an early deadlocked in set one.
The Lady Vikings started to find holes on the floor that helped them stretch out a lead. The Lady Cats attempted to reel in the Vikings, but could only get as close as 25-18 at the end of the set.
The Lady Cats where able to come out strong during the start of set two going on a four-point run. The Lady Cats where able to keep a cushion of points, but the Lady Vikings where slowly eating away at the deficit. The Cats gave up the lead when the Vikings put up some arms to shut down the front line of the Cats at the 11-10 mark of the set.
River Valley continued to use the swing of momentum in its favor, going on a six-point run late in the set. The run provide the Lady Vikings with the cushion needed to win their second set of the night 25-23.
With only one set between the Lady Cats and the end of the regular season, North Union decided that it was not ready to close the book on 2017.
“Ironically, the same scenario happened at River Valley when we played them,” said NU coach Peg Curts. “We beat them in the first two matches and they turned around and took it from use in three. So we talked about that in the timeout that this is our chance.”
The Cats where able to once again build up a lead, using good service and steady hitting from the front line. The consistent play gave NU a 10-3 lead. The momentum continued in the Lady Cats favor as they continued to widen the margin and cruise to their first set win of the night at 25-5.
The Cats didn’t let the momentum die down as they came out and built a lead before the Lady Vikings could find the scoreboard at 3-1. Journey Blevins wouldn’t be slowed down as she continued to play strong at the net blocking shot after Viking shot.
“She has matured over the season. Hopefully, as a coach, you are happy with that,” added Curts. “Coming in as a freshmen to get in there and play a great game and she is starting to make better decisions on the court.”
The blocked shots allowed the cats to go on back-to-back six points runs to take a commanding 18-6 lead in set four. The Vikings where able to tally a point here and there, but it didn’t slow the momentum of the Lady Cats as they took set four 25-9.
After a three-minute break to determine which team would start service for the final set of the match, each team exchanged blows until the midway point of the set. The Vikings where able to get a slim two-point advantage on NU. The advantage gave the Vikings the momentum they needed to take the set at 15-8 and win the match 3-2.
“You know honestly if we wouldn’t of had that break between the fourth and fifth set, because we were on a roll, I have no doubt that we could have turned this around,” added Curts. “It is that three minutes – even though we stood over here and said ‘keep it going’ – that three minutes is almost a killer sometimes in volleyball.”
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