MURRAY — Rechelle Turner Court has seen lots of fantastic battles but not many were as electric as the volleyball match that was played Thursday night at Murray High School as the Lady Tigers battled to a five set loss 3-2 (14-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21, 9-15) against Christian Fellowship.
The district behemoth came to town sporting a 15-game winning streak against the Lady Tigers. The Lady Eagles had dominated the Lady Tigers (5-4) recently, not letting a single set slip away against Murray since 2016. Things appeared to be headed the same way again as CFS took the first two sets 25-14 and 25-23, then the Tigers came alive.
In set three, the Tigers fought to hang around long enough until Christian Fellowship took off to a 21-12 advantage. The night was almost over with a visitor sweep until the Lady Tigers roared to life with an eight-point run, led by the serving of senior right-side hitter Kate Morefield. A little extra competition had to happen to settle the set with an exciting Tiger come-from-behind rally to win 26-24 and keep the match alive.
The emotions and intensity were on full display as Murray scrapped to stay alive in the fourth set, a back and forth battle throughout, which culminated with another Tiger rally to take the lead at 22-21, thanks to the comeback serving of senior Lila Munsey and the finishing service of sophomore Rachel Kjellberg to win 25-21.
“That was some good, good ball that we played tonight all the way around,” Lady Tigers head coach Jennifer Westbrook said. “CFS is a solid team and that’s kind of been one of our goals for this season is to be able to hang with them and not just turnover when we’re up against them.
“I’m proud of them for the way that they dug down and finally showed them how they can play. I’m still pumped up from watching them play that third and fourth and I just wish we would have come out stronger in the fifth set and not created such a deficit for ourselves.”
With all the effort it took to hang with CFS, the emotion took its toll and the Tigers finally stalled in the fifth and decisive set, trailing by as many as nine points and ultimately succumbing 15-9 to the Lady Eagles and superstar Emma Fletcher, the diminutive senior that played above the net all night long with impressive kills and hustle.
Sophomore Cori Hood led the Tigers with 36 attacks followed closely by junior Farris Howard with 32. Munsey led the serving display with five aces and Kjellberg stymied the Eagles’ Fletcher with 14 digs. Sophomore middle-hitter Alyssa Daughrity was the assist leader on the night.