Despite winning the opening game and battling hard through the next three, South Webster found that out the hard way. The Lady Jeeps lost to Reedsville Eastern 18-25, 25-16, 25-19 and 25-12 Saturday night at Wellston High School in the district championship.
Eastern Pike suffered the same fate earlier in the night losing to Adena 25-11, 25-10 and 25-15.
The Lady Jeeps seemed poised for a trip north after winning the first game of their match. Reedsville Eastern got out to a 3-0 lead on South Webster but the Lady Jeeps answered back with an 8-0 run thanks in large part to Erin Sherman's three blocks and two kills. Sherman finished with 12 kills and nine blocks.
After game one, the Lady Jeeps faced an uphill climb as they trailed from the get-go in the next three games.
In game three, with the match tied at one game apiece, neither team distanced itself at first. The Lady Jeeps matched Reedsville Eastern point-for-point but never held the lead.
With the season on the line in game four, the Lady Jeeps came out slow, allowing Reedsville Eastern to jump out to a 13-1 lead but as an Reedsville Eastern coach shouted during a time out, “It's not over until someone gets to 25.”
The Lady Jeeps went on a tear, going on a 6-0 run to bring the score to within seven but that was as close as it got.
“We've been behind a few times this season,” said South Webster coach Darcee Claxon. “The girls never gave up with their backs against the wall.”
Senior Emily Deems had eight kills and 11 digs in the loss and Molly Roark had 20 digs. Kayla Maynard had 11 digs and Emily Homerosky had 20 assists.
Two years ago the Lady Jeeps finished below .500 and last year the team went 16-8 and this year's improvement to 18-5 is what Claxon is looking for, even though the team hoped to advance.
“We set our expectations pretty high,” said Claxon. “We're disappointed with the loss tonight.”
Eastern Pike came out ready against Adena but the Lady Warriors were too strong. After losing the first game, the Lady Eagles managed to stay within three points until with the score at 8-5, Adena took off. After going back and forth, Adena went on a 8-0 scoring run to put the game out of reach.
The 22nd point for for the Lady Warriors told the story of the match. The Lady Warriors served and Eastern Pike got the dig, a picturesque set, and a hard spike - and Adena returned it. The same scenario would happen twice before Adena finally took the point.
“They have a very fast-paced offense,” said Eastern Pike coach Janet Day. “We don't see that very often in our league.”
That offense of the Lady Warriors was led by Ashley Jordan. Jordan, a sophomore, seemed to block every other shot Eastern Pike attempted, often going head-to-head with the Lady Eagles' Chelsea Howard. Howard led the Lady Eagles with five kills.
“(Jordan) is a pretty strong player for her age,” said Day.
Eastern Pike loses four seniors to graduation: Howard, Desi Ison, who had three kills one ace and three digs, Brittany Helton who had 12 assists and six digs and Tamicka Ward.
Junior Mary Polen had five kills and added two aces and Amber Howell had five digs and two kills.
Records - South Webster 18-5; Eastern Pike 22-3.