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Prep Volleyball: Cougars pushed by Bengals in Piedmont District win
Friday, October 11, 2013
By DOUG POWELL - Bulletin Sports Writer
The Patrick County volleyball team has been sweeping teams left and right this season.
However, they ran into a hungry Bassett squad Thursday looking to pull off the upset on its home court.
In the end, however, Patrick County had enough firepower on offense to withstand the Bengals’ intensity and defeat them 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 25-13) at Bassett High School.
“We started off really slow,” Patrick County head coach Heidi Moore said. “This is our third game this week, and I don’t know if it’s that, but we didn’t move really well and we didn’t turn it on until the middle of the third game. That’s when we started playing, and we still had a lot of down time. I’m not sure what happened, but it was good to get the win.”
A Bassett team that was struggling with communication just a week ago was more vocal Thursday and hung with a Patrick County team against which it struggled mightily in the first meeting.
“Much better communication,” Bassett head coach Dyan Ragsdale said. “I saw a lot more than I have seen in other games.”
The Bengals moved their feet well, stopping most of the Cougars attack shots.
Although it lost the first set 25-20, the Bengals went on to win a closely contested second set against the team that is tops in the Piedmont District.
“Games 1, 2 and 3 we had so much intensity,” Ragsdale said. “Win or lose, Game 1 we played with so much intensity ... They knew they had to come out with more intensity because when we went to Patrick County we didn’t show up at all.”
On Patrick County’s side, Moore went deep into her lineup — very deep.
Moore played girls in the first and second sets who had not seen much playing time this year in hopes of getting them some experience for later down the road, she said.
“It was something that we were trying to work with to make sure we got everyone playing,” Moore said. “And to make sure we were playing as a team and doing team concepts.”
Arguably Patrick County’s best player, T’keyah Hines did not enter the match until the third set.
The absence of Hines’ size and leadership in the first two sets allowed the Bengals offense to have life and gave Bassett a tie game after two.
“We weren’t moving very well and we were playing flat,” Moore said. “Hit a lot of balls out, serving out, everything. It was pretty much everything not on our side and they were playing a lot better ball then.”
Hines’ entrance into the game in the third set was noticeable, as her leaping ability added a dimension to the Cougars’ offense it lacked early on.
But the Bengals hung tough as they did for most of the match and the Bengals even went on a 5-0 run to take a 7-2 lead in the third.
Patrick County had an answer however, and went on a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 15-12.
The Cougars never trailed the rest of the set and won 25-20 and were looking to shut the door in the fourth.
Patrick County overcame a 6-2 deficit early and came back to win the decisive fourth set 25-13 — easily the biggest scoring margin of the match.
Hannah Largent’s serving in the fourth brought the Cougars back, as the team went on a 6-0 run midway through with Largent at the helm.
“They are much improved from last time,” Moore said of Bassett. “They have come a long way from the first time we played them, and that’s good. We need good competition. Both teams do.”
Patrick County’s Beth Williams was an integral part in the Cougars offensive attack as she racked up 50 assists.
To put that into perspective, Bassett’s Hailey Helbert led the Bengals on the night with 12.
Abby Hutchens led the Cougars with 12 kills and Kaleigh Griffith and Hines had 9.
Bassett was led by Madison Haynes, who had 10 kills.
Both Patrick County and Bassett return to action Tuesday.