Late spark from Neal, Krehbiel help Lady Tigers salvage finale
W.S. Neal girls lose pair
By BRUCE HIXON Sports editor
T.R. Miller Lady Tigers volleyball coach Sharon Peacock could only sit, watch and hope somebody would give her team a much needed spark.
For much of Monday's home tri-match, it looked as if that spark would never come.
Thanks largely to senior Rebekah Neal and junior Courtney Krehbiel, that spark finally came in the third and decisive set of a 19-25, 25-20, 15-7 victory over the W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles.
Neal provided her production at serve where she recorded 12 straight points to start the third set. Meanwhile Krehbiel stepped up at the net with three kills for points during Neal's string. She had four total kills in the set.
"We looked dead in the water for much of the evening. Everything was out of sync. Fortunately Courtney and Rebekah got us going," Peacock said.
While the loss to T.R. Miller and an earlier 25-12, 25-13 setback to Clarke County were W.S. Neal's seventh and eighth straight defeats, Lady Blue Eagles coach Kraig Rittenhouse found plenty of areas to be encouraged.
"This was much better. We played with so much more energy and enthusiasm. This was the best we have played since the Clarke County Tournament," Rittenhouse said. "It helps us out a lot getting Amanda Ziglar back in the lineup. Erica Cardwell also played real well for us."
Reshena Young, Jullian Crutchfield and Ziglar provided some key stretches of play in W.S. Neal's set one win against T.R. Miller.
With T.R. Miller (5-12) up 4-2, Young had a string of five straight points that put the Lady Blue Eagles ahead for good. Ziglar helped that run with a couple of key kills. W.S. Neal's lead was down to 12-11 when Crutchfield reeled off eight points to open up a 20-11 lead. Two of those points were aces.
T.R. Miller led from start to finish in set two. The key point in the game came when the Lady Tigers had just an 8-7 advantage. Charity Coleman posted seven points, four of which were aces, to open up a 15-7 lead.
The Lady Blue Eagles refused to go down quietly though, as they got within two points on two occasions. The last came at 22-20 after a three-point string by Brittany Tagudar. Three points by Coleman preserved the Lady Tigers' win.
W.S. Neal (2-12) got five points from Abbie Howard in its set one loss to Clarke County.
In set two, the Lady Blue Eagles took a 7-4 lead after a point by Jamica Thomas. W.S. Neal still had an 8-7 lead when the wheels began to come off. Clarke County scored the next six points and 11 of the next 12 to open up an 18-9 lead.
"Clarke County has a pretty good team. We probably played as well as we could have against a team of that caliber," Rittenhouse said.
Clarke County also got the best of the Lady Tigers by a 25-13, 25-19 decision.
While the Lady Bulldogs led from start to finish in set one, they had just a 13-11 edge until they finished the set on a 12-2 run. Krehbiel had four points to lead T.R. Miller.
Clarke County made a similar run in set two. With the Lady Bulldogs up 11-9, Clarke County used an 8-3 run to extend its lead to 19-12. Terri Lynne Peacock had three points, while Kristen Bradley had a pair of points, two kills and a block for T.R. Miller.