Morristown West’s volleyball team proved it truly is not how you start but how you finish in their home match with cross-town rival Morristown East Thursday night.
The Lady Trojans fell behind 10-1 in the opening game before battling back to tie it late in the game, effectively seizing the momentum for much of the match before holding off a late Lady Hurricanes rally to win 23-25, 25-13, 25-20, 24-26 and 15-10 inside Michael R. Reed Gymnasium.
The win for West is their sixth straight and improves their record to 17-12 overall and 10-2 in Inter Mountain Conference play. The win was also the second five-game win over East this season. The Lady ‘Canes fell to 22-9 and 9-3.
Tia Dailey had a monster game for West, recording 22 service points and 27 digs, both career highs, while also smashing seven kills in the win.
Abbe Craine totaled 14 kills and 23 digs in the win, while Hannah Beth Moorhouse had 11 kills and 29 digs. Jasmine Williams’s added 10 kills and five blocks, Jecca Simerly had six blocks, Claire McDonald dished out 37 assists and Katie Deering had 23 digs and 18 service points in the victory.
“I’m so proud of this team and how well they played and how they are coming together at the right time,” West coach Heather Kelley said. “To fight back from a big deficit early and get the momentum back in our favor and get a win shows the maturity this team has, and that is great to see from such a young team.”
Madisson Westmoreland led the Lady ‘Canes with 17 kills and three blocks, while Rachel Cutshaw added nine kills and 20 digs. Peyton McDaniel recorded 25 digs to lead East, while Abby Duncan had 17 digs and 18 assists and Ellie-Kate Williams had 11 digs and 16 assists. Tamie Fanney added thee blocks in the loss.
“We started off strong in the first game and then we started to make mistakes and had a hard time putting the ball on the floor,” Drinnon said. “We had some key players struggle tonight, but that isn’t an excuse. We needed to play with fewer errors.
“I was proud of their fight, but we need to eliminate the errors when the game is on the line.”
Cutshaw served East into a 10-1 lead early on, but West rallied and cut the deficit to a single point on two occasions before knotting the score at 23 on a block by Williams. East won the game however, with Fanney recording a kill for the final point and a 25-23 win.
The second game was the complete opposite, as the Lady Trojans built an 8-1 lead and was never threatened. Moorhouse, Dailey and Craine did the bulk of the damage, with Craine ending the game with a kill at 25-13. Both teams had a pair of big runs in the third game, with an ace from Deering giving West a 24-19 advantage. East scored the next point but couldn’t find another spurt, as the Lady Trojans held on 25-20. West appeared on their way to a four-game win in the fourth, taking a 23-19 lead late in the set. The Lady ‘Canes roared back with four straight points to tie the score before a kill from Moorhouse put the Lady Trojans back on top, just a point away from a match victory. East rallied to score the next three points to win the game, The Lady ‘Canes held an 8-7 lead midway through the game, but West went on an 8-2 run to close the match, 15-10.
By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor