Borden spoils Lady Eagles’ bid for SAC
Sectional play may have been a week away, but the atmosphere Thursday at Borden certainly had the feel of tournament time.
With the Southern Athletic Conference title on the line, Lanesville stormed into Borden seeking the school’s first championship since 2005. Ironically, that year, the Lady Eagles were coached by current Borden skipper D.J. Zipp.
Thursday’s contest led up to the billing, but the host Lady Braves, playing on senior night, won in three thrilling games, 29-27, 25-21, 26-24.
‘I told them in the locker room to not dwell on this,’ Lanesville coach Brittney Gayhart said. ‘We have a sectional title that we’ll make a run for. If they play as a team, we’ll have a great chance.’
Lanesville played from behind in games one and two. In the opener, Borden took advantage of a string of Lanesville miscues to go on a eight-point run for a 16-7 lead.
Chipping away at the Lady Braves lead, Lanesville made a run. Morgan Williams and Brooklynn Keinsley had two kills, while Kaitlyn Davis added a winning block to trim the deficit to five. Setter Emma Bays passed a winner, and Hannah Bays served an ace to make it only a 20-17 Borden lead.
Following an errand serve from Lanesville, the Lady Eagles bounced back to win six consecutive points, the last coming on a back-row kill from Keinsley that gave Lanesville a 23-21 lead.
Lanesville had three game-point opportunities. Each were spoiled by Borden’s Allison Rademacher via two kills and a block. Rademacher’s block tied the game at 27. That was followed by an Erin Mikel kill and a Rademacher ace.
Six service errors hampered the Lady Eagles in game one. They had 13 errors at the line for the night.
‘Dug ourselves in too much of a hole,’ Gayhart said. ‘We missed several serves and that just is giving away points. As a player I know it’s hard to keep your head up and the intensity going. I thought they did a great job battling back.’
Game two’s beginning was just as good for the Lady Braves. Rademacher had three aces, while Mikel had three kills to give their team an 11-2 early lead.
Again, it was a spirited rally from Lanesville to make it a tough game. A Davis kill followed by consecutive Keinsley aces forced Borden to call a time-out at 14-10.
Lanesville would get as close as one on three occasions. Hannah Bays had a kill to make it 18-17, but Borden held steady. Rademacher, who had 18 kills for the match, closed game two with kills on three of the final four points.
Ten ties and five lead changes kept game three interesting. Borden left a 15-all tie, scoring five of the next six points to take a 20-16 lead.
Regrouping quickly, a pair of Williams aces and a Davis kill suddenly tied the game at 21. Going back and forth, Lanesville eventually reached a game-point situation after Rademacher hit a ball long.
Borden, however, saw Mikel place a spike on the line. Two Lanesville miscues later, the game went Borden’s way.
‘All the way up here, I was trying to figure out a lineup that would make sure we had blockers all around. It worked all night,’ Gayhart said. ‘Our hitting wasn’t as strong as when we were at West Washington the other night. We may have been too timid.’
Lanesville had 12 aces as a team with Williams and Keinsley having four each. Keinsley paced Lanesville with 12 kills. Williams contributed six and Davis had five.
Lanesville will begin Class A New Washington Sectional play tomorrow (Thursday) at 6 p.m. against Rock Creek Academy. The semi-finals will be Saturday starting at 11 a.m. with the championship game at 7 p.m.