RACINE, Ohio — The Lady Tornadoes played the role of spoiler Thursday night, as they kept visiting Trimble from pulling off the near-impossible comeback.
The Southern volleyball team was a single point away from a three-game sweep of Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Trimble, but the Lady Tomcats battled back and eventually forced a fifth game, in which they led 6-3. However, SHS stopped the comeback effort with a 12-4 run to take the fifth game 15-10 and the match by a 3-2 tally.
The Lady Tornadoes (3-0, 1-0 TVC Hocking) never trailed in the opening game, leading by as much as eight en route to a 25-21 win.
Trimble lead 4-2 in the second game, but Southern rallied into the lead with a 7-0 run. The Lady Tornadoes never relinquished the lead, winning the second game 25-18 and moving ahead 2-0 in the match.
The Purple and Gold established an early lead in the third game, but the Lady Tomcats battled to tie the game at 12. However, Southern answered with a 6-0 spurt to expand its lead to 18-12.
THS again fought back and tied the third game at 24. Southern was within one point of the victory three times in the third game, but couldn’t put Trimble away, with the Lady Tomcats earning the 29-27 victory.
The fourth game featured six lead changes, the last of which came when Trimble took a 17-16 advantage. Southern fought back to tie the game at 21, but surrendered the next four points, as the Lady Tomcats won 25-21, tying the match at 2-2.
The Lady Tornadoes initially trailed in the fifth game, but they claimed a lead at 7-6. THS tied the game at eight, but never regained the advantage, falling by a 15-10 count, that gave SHS the 3-2 match victory.
“I think we came back in the fifth more determined,” first-year SHS head coach Kim Hupp said. “I told the girls, ‘this is it, a game to 15 for the win,’ and they came out focused and ready to play. They weren’t going to let down.”
SHS senior Kamryn Smith led the Lady Tornado service attack with 16 points and one ace, while junior libero Jane Roush added 12 points and one ace. Sierra Cleland, Amanda Cole and Marlee Maynard each had eight service points, while Sara Schenkelberg rounded out the category for SHS with seven points.
At the net, Southern was led by Faith Teaford with 12 kills and two blocks, and Cole with 12 kills and one block. Cleland had 10 kills and two blocks in the win, Smith added six kills and one block, while Maynard had one kill for the victors.
“They never gave up and they never quit,” Hupp said of her squad. “They hustled down to the very last point, so I’m very proud of them for that.”
Taya Lackey led Trimble with 16 service points, followed by Emily Ward with 14. Kaitlyn Spears and Alexa Shust each had seven points, Sydney Hardy added three, while Lyndee Burdette chipped in with two.
Trimble was one of two teams that SHS shared the 2015 league title with, and the Lady Tornadoes will look to sweep the Lady Tomcats on September 26, in Glouster.
Southern will return to the court on Tuesday at Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.