BRIENSBURG – From all indications, the way this season has started out, local volleyball fans have quite a treat in store.
Christian Fellowship’s Lady Eagles scored a 3-2 win over Marshall County Thursday night, in a match every bit as close and exciting as that score would suggest.
Even though CFS won all four matches between the neighbors last year, the tiny private school considers itself in the role of David versus Marshall County’s Goliath.
“We were the underdog,” hitter Morgan Allen said. “They have taller players, but we hit around them. We played bigger than we are.”
The result was a fifth straight victory for the underdog.
Marshall County had won the previous nine meetings between the two schools.
CFS jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first two sets, but then saw Marshall County roar back to send the match to a fifth game.
The Lady Marshals took a 2-0 lead before CFS began to claw back into it.
The game was nip-and-tuck until CFS ran off seven straight points to pull away from a 4-4 tie to an 11-4 advantage.
Allen had four kills during that stretch, and totaled 22 for the match.
The Lady Eagles took the fifth game 15-7.
“They kept fighting,” coach Suzie Burnett said of the CFS squad.
“We had momentum after winning the first two games, but [Marshall County] turned on us. Both teams did a really good job.”
Marshall County fought to a 31-29 win in the third game, then evened the match at 2-2 with a 25-19 fourth-set victory.
First-year Lady Marshals coach Dan Langhi bemoaned his team’s slow start, not only in losing the first two games but in falling behind early in the third one.
“We were down early in the third set, I think by about six points,” Langhi said.
“I wish we had played the whole match the way we played that third set.”
Madison Grammer had nine kills for the Lady Marshals.
Markea McKendree had seven kills, four blocks and three aces. Moriah Crittendon had 29 digs and Savannah Adrian had 22 digs and two aces.
For the Lady Eagles, Kathryn Beale had 12 kills and three aces and Macall Key had 1 assists and three aces.
Grammer, one of four seniors, said the Lady Marshals never gave up.
“I was real confident,” she said. “You can’t get down on yourself. Everyone has to try to be a leader and bring the team up. We’ve just got to start stronger next time.”
In other matches, CFS opened the season with another rival Tuesday, dropping a hard-fought 3-2 decision at Community Christian Academy in Paducah, while Marshall County defeated Calloway County 3-0 at Calloway. Both matches were District 4 contests.
Both teams are in action tonight, CFS at home against Graves County and MCHS at Paducah Tilghman.
On Thursday, CFS visits Murray and Marshall County is at home to CCA.
The Lady Marshals will play in the Western Kentucky Smackdown tournament in Hopkinsville Friday and Saturday.
CCA 3, CFS 2
CCA jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a 25-17 win in the opening set Tuesday night, but visiting CFS eked out a 25-23 win to even it at 1-1.
The Lady Eagles forced the Lady Warriors into extended play before bowing 27-25, then roared back to send it to the final game with a 25-21 win in the fourth game.
In the fifth game, CFS fell behind 11-3 before closing to within a point at 12-11 before CCA finished with a 3-1 spurt to claim their third win in three matches.
It was the fourth straight win in the rivalry between the two schools, dating from a 2-0 win CFS scored on a hectic day in the All “A” Classic region tournament Aug. 20 last year. The two schools clashed four times that day, with CCA winning three of them.
This year, the rivalry is intensified as CCA moves into District 4 with the Lady Eagles. They meet Sept. 13 in Briensburg.
MCHS 3, Calloway 0
The Lady Marshals rang up a straight-sets win over Calloway in a District 2 contest at Jeffrey Gymnasium in Murray Tuesday night.
After a close win in the first game at 25-22, Marshall County added wins by 25-19 and 15-20 scores.
It was the second win for Marshall County over the Lady Lakers in five days. MC won 2-0 in a meeting Aug. 10 in the Apollo Invitational in Owensboro.
Markea McKendree had four aces, 10 digs and six kills for Marshall County. Rachael Reed had 10 kills and Savannah Adrian and Madison Grammer each had four aces for the Lady Marshals, who improved to 4-3 with the victory. Calloway dropped to 2-5.