Girls' volleyball: McConnellsburg girls lose a five-set battle to Shade in District 5-A quarterfinal
BOSWELL >> The McConnellsburg Lady Spartans volleyball team ended its season a little earlier than expected after a five-set loss to Shade in the District 5 Class A quarterfinals Monday evening.
Despite losing the two opening sets, 25-22, 25-14, McConnellsburg fought back to force a fifth game to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The Spartans (15-5) won the third and fourth sets, 25-14 and 25-20, respectively. But the Panthers scored a 15-8 win in the decisive fifth set.
"We didn't feel like we played strong in game one and two," McConnellsburg coach Heidi Johnston said. "The kids fought extremely hard in games three and four, but had a couple of errors down the stretch."
Shade is a well-rounded team that forced the Spartans to respond defensively, and they combined for 75 total digs in the five-set match. Carly Swope led the team with 23 digs.
"The defense stepped up and I thought we were pretty scrappy," Johnston said. "We kept a lot of balls in play. We were able to fight back by being aggressive, which is what we were trying to do."
Johnston said the team should not hang its head over the loss because they responded to the challenge of a two-set deficit, just could not hang on in the fifth set to put it away.
"In game five we were a little tight, and got away from our overall game plan," she said.
Swope also led the team in kills with 14 and aces with five, while senior Kylie Keefer completed her final match for McConnellsburg with six kills, one block and 10 digs. Fellow senior Kailey Dils had 21 digs. Lindsey Randler put up 35 assists.
Shade 3, McConnellsburg 2
Sets — S 25-22, S 25-14, McC 25-14, McC 25-20, S 15-8
Kills — Carly Swope 14, Bridgette Ritchey 8, Kylie Keefer 6; Blocks — Keefer 1, Kacey Hann 1; Assists — Lindsey Randler 35; Digs — Swope 23, Randler 21, Dils 21, Keefer 10; Aces — Swope 5.