Gettysburg High had two leads Monday night against Manheim Central in its District 3 Class AAA Girls volleyball Tournament preliminary-round match.
But twice the Barons found a way to take that momentum and make it their own. And in the fifth game, they didn't give it back.
Manheim Central beat Gettysburg, 19-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-22, 15-6 at Northern High School, Dillsburg.
Roaring out to a 5-1 lead, the Barons didn't even allow Gettysburg to enter the fifth game.
At 4-1, Gettysburg coach Travis Meckley called timeout to compose his squad and it helped a little as Gettysburg closed within four points, 7-3.
The Lady Warriors didn't lose hope, though.
"I thought we did a pretty good job keeping our heads up the entire time, even though point after point, it (a win) seemed further away," Gettysburg junior Mia Rawleigh said.
For the seniors, it was an emotional end to a season that had begun after losing some key seniors.
"A lot of people counted us out, saying we weren't going to win the division just because we didn't have Katie Williams or Rebekah Waybrant, but I was so proud of the way the team played this year," Rawleigh said.
Gettysburg played about as well as it has all season in the first and third games, but let the Barons back in the third game, perhaps shifting the momentum for the final time.
"If we could have finished them off strong there, it probably would have helped," Meckley said.
The Lady Warriors had a little extra motivation in that third game.
About a third of the way into the game, outside hitter Jordyn Newman and setter Katelyn Grace each went for the ball. Newman landed awkwardly, twisted her ankle and had to be carried off the court.
Still, Gettysburg rallied for the 25-23 win.
"I think it helped us pull together a little more," senior Shannon McKee said. "Obviously Jordyn is a key player. But it helped us realize we needed to come together and play a little harder and then we won that one."
Newman did return the court for games four and five, although not in full capacity.
"It hurt a lot," Newman said. "I just pushed though it because I knew I probably wouldn't play volleyball again."
Rachelle Weigand was a big force on the outside for the Barons. Meckley said she was one of the best hitters his team had seen all season.
But after a while, the Lady Warriors started to anticipate and keyed on her hitting.
"We noticed that she was hitting a hard cross or straight down the line," McKee, who had three blocks, said. "We tried to block one of them and sometimes we weren't able to, but a lot of the time we got it."
Grace, a senior, finished the game with three kills, 38 assists and 12 digs. Maddie White had five kills and four aces.
First-year coach Meckley said he was proud of the team and the seniors. The feeling was mutual.
"I thought Travis did a great job in his first year coaching," Rawleigh said. "I'm really glad he was our coach this year."
Contact Dan Graybill at firstname.lastname@example.org.