The Lady Raiders volleyball team knew they were in for a battle on Tuesday night when the Wallace-Rose Hill Lady Bulldogs came into Spivey’s Corner. This was evidenced by the fact that Midway head coach, Whitney Lamm, directed her team straight into a practice session following their Monday night victory over Rosewood. The extra hard work and preparation paid off for Midway as the Lady Raiders rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 and preserve their undefeated record.
Midway looked like a team on a mission in the first set, as the Lady Raiders turned in arguably their best set of the season. Midway started by opening a slight lead over the visitors, but the Lady Bulldogs settled in a chipped away at Midway’s lead. Each team traded momentum swings early but Wallace-Rose Hill forced a Midway timeout after reaching its biggest lead of the set at 16-13. Midway answered out of the timeout, rallying to tie the game at 18-18 before finally taking the opening set win, 25-22.
In the second set, it was Wallace-Rose Hill that came out blazing, opening a 10-6 advantage to once again force a Midway timeout. The Lady Raiders answered once again out of the timeout, rallying to tie the game at 12-12, but it was downhill from there, as the Lady Bulldogs closed the game out on a 13-3 run to take the second set 25-16.
The fire returned to Midway in the third set, as Midway stormed out to an early 5-0 lead, prompting the Lady Bulldogs to call an early timeout. Out of the timeout, Midway added another point to push its lead to 6-0 before a service error finally got the visitors on the board.
Midway’s early lead diminished just as quickly as they had built it when WRH rallied to tie the game at 6-6. The Lady Raiders responded, however, as strong serving by Logan Baggett assisted Midway in pushing the lead back up to 13-8. Like clockwork, the Lady Bulldogs countered, putting together a rally of their own to tie the game back up at 14-14. No team seemingly had an edge in the critical 3rd set until the Lady Bulldogs seized control late to take the 25-22 set win.
After withstanding an early deficit, Midway recaptured an 8-7 lead. The match would then go back and forth, each team trading points and neither team ever leading by more than three points. The tension was tight, as Coach Lamm called a time out to settle her squad down after the score became deadlocked again at 22-22. Out of the timeout, it was Wallace-Rose Hill that took the first point to make it 23-22, but the Lady Raiders reeled off three straight points to win the fourth match and to force the decisive fifth frame.
The fifth frame picked right up where the previous frame ended as each team swapped scores early until Midway scored consecutive points to take what seemed like a huge 9-6 lead. Out of the timeout, Midway would tack on one more point to make it 10-6 before the Lady Bulldogs finally put an end to the spurt. After the Raider lead swelled to 12-7, Wallace-Rose Hill came right back, cutting the lead to 12-10. Midway responded by pushing the score to 14-11 but the Bulldogs kept fighting, cutting it to 14-13. After a fierce battle between the two schools, Midway finally got the victory, winning 15-13 after Alyssa Wrench slammed what was possibly the hardest hit spike of the contest.
After the contest, a jubilant Whitney Lamm praised her team’s effort, especially in the final frame.
“When it comes down to close games such as this, clean volleyball is critical,” she began. “In the fifth set, we played well enough to force them to have to play clean and mistake free.
Lamm also discussed the extra preparation on Monday night. “This was an important game and we knew it. We knew it would be close so I called a practice session after our Rosewood game, which was actually makeup game, so that we could properly prepare. Our girls played with a lot of fight and determination to get the win,” she concluded.
Stats leaders for Midway were Baggett with 14 serve points, six kills and five digs, Leah Williams with 10 serve points and 23 digs, and Alyssa Wrench with six serve points, nine kills and eight blocks. Wrench, Rachel Hodges, Hailey Brooke West and Madee Royal combined for a huge night at the net for Midway, totaling 19 kills and 15 blocks. Hannah Lucas had 11 digs and Mackenzie Chavis contributed 11 assists.
With the win, Midway improves to 10-0 on the season and 4-0 in the Four County Conference. The Lady Raiders are back in action on Thursday when they travel to take on Trask. Game time is set for 6 p.m.