Although it may only be a quarter of the way through the season and league play, the Waverly Tigers can still say they sent seniors Carli Knight and Hannah Snyder out on a high note with a victory over the visiting Valley Indians Thursday evening.
“It was exciting and nice to see a Senior Night where every person on the team got to contribute. We had kind of a rough start this season, and it’s nice to see us bouncing back from that and getting a couple wins in a row now,” said Waverly Varsity Assistant Coach Sarah Ward.
The Tigers (3-4) made quick work of the Indians, nailing down a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-23) victory. In the first set after being tied at one and two, Waverly used a 6-2 run to jump to a 8-4 lead. The Tigers would then hold leads at 17-9, 20-10 and 22-10. Valley would fight back to get within seven, but Kelli Stewart sent a ball to the floor to seal a first set win 25-18 and a 1-0 match lead.
It was all Waverly in the second set, as the trio of Stewart, Carli Knight and Sarah Thompson caused the Indians trouble, as the Tigers took a two set lead with a 25-15 final.
However, in the third set Valley wouldn’t go down easy and pushed the Tigers to the brink. Valley jumped out to an early 8-4 lead that forced Waverly to call a timeout and regroup. The Tigers regrouped and used an 8-4 run of their own to tie the set at 12-12 before Valley scored three straight to make it 15-12. Trailing 19-14 and looking like Valley may push it into a fourth set, the Tigers once again mounted a comeback, scoring eight of the next 11 points to even the score once more at 22-22.
“It just comes down to heart. This team has a lot of heart, and when they saw the situation they were in, they made the decision that we were not going to let this happen. We were able to turn it around,” said Ward.
After a Valley error and a kill by Knight, Waverly made it 24-22 for their first lead of the set. Valley would score once more making it 24-23 before the Tigers defense forced Valley into a hitting error completing the third set comeback by a score of 25-23 and winning the match 3-0.
Leading the Tigers statistically was Knight who had 15 kills and 15 digs. Stewart finished the night with 12 kills and 11 digs as well as 5 blocks. Sarah Thompson finished with 6 kills and 2 blocks, while Annie Silcott ended the evening with 3 kills and 4 digs. Abbie Marshall ended with 3 aces.
The Tigers will now look to make it three straight wins as they host Washington Court House on Saturday.
“We’re hoping the excitement of two wins this week will push us into Saturday and another win,” said Ward.