Written by Marlon Scott
Clarksville, TN – The Clarksville Northwest High Lady Vikings earned their first AAA District 10 win at home Thursday night against the Henry County Lady Patriots, 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 25-23).
The match was a test for both teams who played hard making diving digs and challenged each other at the net. Ultimately, it came down to who made less errors and the Lady Vikings finished with the cleaner games.“Everything we worked on throughout the year was a matter of cleaning up our passes and getting a better strike on the ball,” Lady Vikings head coach Matthew Spinella said. “Our attack was on, our passes were great and sets were right in place. Everything we did was just a culmination of all the work they did from day one.”
The Lady Vikings looked crisp in the first game. Exchanging scores to a 5-5 tie, Lady Viking Natalie Schilling ignited a 7-0 run by serving an ace. Schilling continued to boost her team with solid serves, serving four aces in the run.
After the Lady Patriots broke the run with a couple of points from a Lady Viking error and an ensuing service ace of their own, Daysha Green extended the Lady Vikings lead to 15-8 with a kill and two aces. The Lady Vikings maintained their 7-point lead to win the first game, producing a total of 8 aces and 6 kills.
Neither team could earn a lead more than three points in the second game. The two teams served, dug, set and spiked their way through 12 ties. The last tie, 21-21 was broken when Lady Patriot, Amanda Jones, served an ace. A Lady Viking error extended the lead to 23-21.
The Lady Patriots lost the serve when one of the many battles above the net ended with the ball dribbling down the net on their side. However, the Lady Vikings could not close the game. Instead they committed back-to-back errors and gave the game to the Lady Patriots, 25-22.
“Going into the third match I told them if we limit our errors, we win the match handily,“ Spinella said. “I told them just to fight hard and keep the game clean.”
The Lady Vikings followed their coaches advice to win game 3. Jones served another ace to give the Lady Patriots a 4-1 lead, the Lady Vikings were able to set up their offense and make 3-straight kills to tie the game.
Down 3-1, the Lady Patriots did everything they could to extend the match to five games. After battling through five ties, it looked as if the Lady Vikings were taking control of the game when Ashtyn Hilton served 3-straight aces in a 4-0 run that put them ahead 14-9. However, Lady Patriot Rebekah Craig served three aces of her own to lead her team in a 7-1 run that tied the game again, 19-19.
A 21-21 tie was broken by a Lady Patriot error. Then, Anastasia Hollimon served an ace to give the Lady Vikings a 23-21 lead. Still ahead 24-23, the Lady Vikings won when the volleyball bounced off the fist of a diving Lady Patriot, out of bounds.
“We played very well,“ Lady Patriots head coach Melissa Chambers said. “We came off a win Tuesday. We may have been tired, but we battled. We didn’t give up in the end. I was proud of them for that.”