Clinton hosted Midway for Four County Conference volleyball matches on Tuesday afternoon. The varsity Lady Raiders had hopes of avenging an earlier home loss to the Lady Dark Horses, and for a good part of the match it looked as if the determined Midway squad would pull off the upset and claim a share of the conference lead. In the end the Lady Horses won several crucial points to put away the stubborn Lady Raiders in a hotly contested 3-1 four set win.
Clinton took the first set 25-20 and when they opened the second set with a 4-0 lead it looked as if the home team was set to dominate the match. The Lady Raiders broke Clinton’s serve and went on a tear, tying the score while settling into a back and forth match. Eventually the Lady Raiders got some separation and took a 21-25 second set win to knot the match at 1-1.
The third set was equally as exciting, with each team opening leads but neither able to put the other team away. Clinton finally prevailed, winning the last two points on extended volleys that had fans from both sides on their feet, taking the 25-23 win and a 2-1 lead into the fourth set.
The fourth set featured several long volleys and some tense moments as the game officials had to sort through a couple of close line calls. Clinton opened up a six point lead at 12-6 and was able to hang on, withstanding several runs by the Lady Raiders. Midway got as close as two points on several occasions but was unable to overtake the front running Lady Horses. Clinton wrapped up the match, with a 25-20 fourth set win to secure the match.
After the game Clinton’s head coach Jennifer Edgerton praised her team’s performance, saying “I am really proud of my girls, they had a really good practice yesterday and brought it into the game today. This was a good team win for us, everyone played well, Mary Johnson stepped up for us with some big serves in the last two sets. You have to give Midway a lot of credit, they played really well today, they took us to the limit.”
Lady Raider head coach Jennifer Naylor commented on her team’s play after the game, adding, “we played a very competitive match today. We worked really hard on the things that Clinton did the first time we played them and that hard work showed today. Clinton has some really big hitters but we had 71 digs off their hits tonight, the girls didn’t give in to them. They beat us by a combined 16 points and we had 6 net calls and nine missed serves, those mistakes were the difference in the match.”
Naylor went on to single out the play of Leah Williams, saying “Leah, our sophomore libero, played really well tonight for us on the back row with 42 digs. We had good teamwork tonight all the girls stepped up and played really well.”
Statistically, Clinton was led by Sophia Owen with 16 service points, 8 digs and three spikes, one of which came at a crucial point of the final set. Corey Spell added 25 digs, playing great defensively for the Lady Horses. Alex Canady was a force at the net with 10 spikes and 15 tips, and Jamie Jones added 10 spikes, 10 tips and 5 kills.
Midway was paced by Leah Williams’ stellar defensive play. Williams posted 42 digs from her libero position, keeping the ball alive time after time for the Lady Raiders. Alyssa Wrench posted 9 blocks with aggressive play at the net and Autumn Byrd served 11 winners for the Lady Raiders.
The win runs Clinton’s record to 16-3 overall and 9-1 in conference play. The Lady Raiders fall to 11-10 overall and 7-3 in Four County conference play. Clinton returns to action on Thursday when they host Union. Midway returns home to face Wallace Rose-Hill, also on Thursday.
Midway’s JV squad dropped the Lady Dark Horse JV in straight sets. The loss drops Clinton’s JV record to 9-10 on the season.