MASON, W.Va. — They won a legitimate battle, but ultimately lost the war.
The Wahama volleyball team had an impressive Game 3 showing, but visiting Waterford eventually slammed the door shut on any additional comeback hopes Thursday night with a 25-14, 25-11, 22-25, 25-12 decision in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest at Gary Clark Court in Mason County.
The Lady Falcons (0-11, 0-10 TVC Hocking) mustered only 25 points in the first two games while falling behind 2-0 in the match, but the hosts rallied back from an 8-point deficit in Game 3 and reached 25 points first to close back to within 2-1.
The Lady Wildcats (8-7, 8-2), however, never trailed in Game 4 and led by as many 13 points before wrapping up the final 3-1 match outcome.
Waterford never trailed in Game 1, although there were five ties before the Green and White broke away from a 12-all tie with 13 of the final 15 points en route to an 11-point win.
The Red and White took their first lead of the match with a 1-0 edge in Game 2, but the guests rallied with 11 of the next 15 points before closing things out with a 14-6 run that secured a quick 2-0 match cushion.
Waterford established leads of 12-4 and 16-8 in Game 3, but the hosts answered with 13 of the next 18 points that eventually knotted things up at 21-all.
Wahama broke that tie and never trailed again as the hosts scored four of the final five points while closing the match deficit down to 2-1.
The Lady Cats responded by building leads of 6-0 and 11-5 before extending that cushion out to 20-7 and 22-9, then traded points the rest of the way to wrap up the 13-point win and the 3-1 match outcome.
Bailee Bumgarner led the Wahama service attack with nine points, followed by Gracie VanMeter with six points. Harley Roush and Emma Gibbs were next with five points apiece, while Abby Pauley added three points.
Emma Young and Hannah Rose completed the service scoring with two points and one point, respectively.
Young led the net attack with six kills and three blocks, followed by Gibbs and Harley Roush with three kills each. Pauley and Phoebe Roush were next with two kills apiece, with Mary Roush also adding a kill.
Gibbs and Phoebe Roush chipped in two blocks each in the setback, while Hailey Durst also recorded a block.
VanMeter and Pauley dished out a team-high four assists each, with Gibbs adding two assists. Rose and Phoebe Roush also had an assist apiece.
Cara Taylor led Waterford with 17 service points and Riley Schweikert contributed 14 points, followed by Jazmine Farmer and Olivia McCutcheon with a dozen points each. Alayna Jones and Kaylea Harmon also added six and four service points, respectively.
Wahama returns to action Monday when it travels to Racine for a TVC Hocking matchup against Southern at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.