BRADFORD – The Bradford volleyball team exceeded Coach Maddie Armstrong’s expectations in Thursday’s Cross County Conference match against Tri-County North.
The Railroaders lost the match 25-15, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-10, but Armstrong was impressed by their play considering they made some changes to their lineup prior to the matchup with the Panthers.
“We tried out a new rotation so I think they did really, really well with that, trying something new,” the Bradford coach said. “We kind of fell apart a little bit at the end, but I think we came out strong and did better than I expected with the new rotation.”
Early in the evening it was back and forth with the teams locked in a 7-7 tie early in the opening set. From there North went on an 18-8 run, however, and took the first game 25-15.
After losing the first set, Bradford rebounded and notched back-to-back wins in the second and third games, winning 25-21 and 25-20 to go up two games to one in the best-of-five match.
“They came out really determined after that first loss,” Armstrong said. “They kind of came out with a this is ours, we’re not going to let them take it from us and I think that’s what got us through those first couple games of the match.”
In the fourth set Bradford continued to carry the momentum and had a 20-17 lead, putting the Railroaders on the cusp of winning the match. However, Tri-County North responded with a 6-0 run to take a 23-20 lead, a lead the Panthers rode to a 25-23 victory to force a decisive fifth set.
In the fifth game Tri-County North opened with a 5-0 lead. Bradford never recovered and lost the game 15-10, dropping the match three sets to two.
“I think we just made some silly mistakes, a lot of missed serves, and just things we need to work on cleaning up,” Armstrong said.
Bradford will return to action on Saturday morning when the Railroaders play host to Houston.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.