MURRAY – Even though the Calloway Lakers volleyball team was shorthanded due to missing four players Tuesday night, they made a run at the visiting Marshall County Lady Marshals in the first set, storming behind from 22-17, but eventually dropping the opener 28-26, and then the subsequent sets 25-10 and 25-11.
The loss dropped the Lakers to 5-5 on the season, but was not completely unexpected, as Lady Laker super-senior and All-District and All-Region outside-hitter Adison Hicks is done for the year due to a torn ACL and meniscus, and sophomore defensive specialist Sayde Lowe sidelined with an injury as well. The rest of the Lady Lakers would have to step up to give the home team a fighting chance against a powerful attack from the Lady Marshals, led by senior outside-hitter/middle-blocker Halle Langhi. And they busted out of the gate with two aces by junior rightside-hitter Lillie Thorn to put the Lady Marshals on their heels to start the match. Marshall would recover quickly and jump out to leads of 17-8 and 20-12 to try to snuff the Lady Laker fire early. Junior middle-hitter Gracie Friedrich would quickly shift the momentum, however, by sparking a Lady Laker rally that would tie the set at 22-22. The teams then traded blows with Calloway poised to shock early, having game-point at 24-22. Marshall Head Coach Alyssa Finnegan wisely called timeout to stop the bleeding and whatever she said worked, as the Lady Marshals battled back and forth before finally finishing off the set, 28-26.
“I really think we’re just not playing together,” said Lady Laker Head Coach Lindsey Jones. “We’re having to do a whole new lineup right now and I just don’t think we’ve gotten that groove yet of being comfortable with those positions. Some people are starting that have never started before and have a big job that they’ve never had before and it’s just a confidence that they’re going to have to get within themselves.”
Marshall then played more to form and finished off Calloway handily in the last two sets, with the Lady Lakers never really threatening, as the wind seemed to come out of the sails after heartbreakingly dropping the opening set. Langhi’s height and line-drive lasers were too much for the Lady Lakers to pick up any momentum the rest of the night.
Standouts statistically for the Lady Lakers were sophomore Gracie Turner with an impressive 33 digs, junior middle-hitter Gracie Friedrich with five kills, four aces and two blocks, junior rightside-hitter Lillie Thorn with nine assists and senior Addy Bogard, with 14 digs and postgame praise from Jones for fighting for it, hustling and trying to get everybody together.
Calloway gets the chance to end their two-game skid quickly, but it won’t be easy, as Christian Fellowship comes to town Thursday evening at 5.