GREENVILLE – By all accounts, it was an amazing comeback that unfortunately still ended in a loss for the Greenville volleyball squad.
The Lady Wave hosted Eaton on Monday night as they celebrated their five seniors – Chloe Cox, Shelby Herman, Brooke Stachler, Koryann Elliott and Mariah Nicholas – on Senior Night. After a rough start to the match falling behind two games to the Eagles, Greenville rallied to win the next two games forcing a winner-take-all fifth match that came down to the wire. It was the Eagles, however, that landed the win 25-13, 25-22, 15-25, 16-25, 15-12.
First-year Greenville coach Michelle Hardesty said her squad grabbed a quick 4-0 lead in the match-deciding fifth set. From there it went point-for-point until Eaton broke the tie going to 14-12 and then winning the final point for the overall match victory.
“Our defense was constantly on the move and we just didn’t quite finish,” said Hardesty, whose squad drops to 10-10 on the season with two matches remaining before sectional tournament play begins next week. The Lady Wave had won nine straight games after a 1-5 start to improve to 10-5, but have since lost five straight for the 10-10 mark.
“We had the serve at 14-12 and Libby (McKinney) put the ball in play, but we had some miscommunication on playing the ball and it dropped,” Hardesty said. “That’s my fault on the miscommunication. I should have made it clear who was to play it.
“But we dug ourselves a big hole to start losing the first two games,” she continued. “We lost seven straight points during the first set and just never got it back.”
In that first set, Greenville was ahead 12-8 when the Eagles went on a run to overtake the Lady Wave 14-12. Greenville won just one more point in that set losing 25-13. The second set was much closer, but still ended in a loss for GHS, 25-22.
But something happened for the third and fourth sets. The crowd got louder and the Lady Wave got re-energized grabbing the lead at 2-1 and maintaining it the rest of the match for a 25-15 win. Game 4 was much the same as GHS fell behind early, but surged ahead at 3-2 and controlled the rest of the game for a 25-16 win.
“We really got it together for the third and fourth sets,” Hardesty said. “I was pleased with the mental toughness we showed.
“There was a lot of emotion prior to the Senior Night introductions,” she continued. “The senior girls really wanted to win that first set, so we just had to work through it and I think we showed we are capable of playing with some really good teams. And Eaton is a good team. They came in here with a 16-3 record. This loss will haunt me for a while.”
Stat leaders for the Lady Wave were Josi Worden with 6 aces, 9 kills and 10 digs, Koryann Elliott with 10 kills and 4 blocks, Brooke Stachler with 2 aces, 26 assists and 13 digs, Shelby Herman with 6 aces and 31 digs, Emma Klosterman with 11 kills, Abbie Yoder with 3 kills and 4 blocks, and Mariah Nicholas and Chloe Cox had 2 aces apiece.
Greenville has regular season matches left with Piqua and Sidney before beginning tournament play. The Lady Wave will open the postseason against the Carroll-Springfield Shawnee winner at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 in the Division II sectional at New Carlisle Tecumseh.
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.