For Corsicana, it came down to getting into a hole the Tigers just couldn’t climb out of Tuesday night against Athens, a team that has been trying to climb up all season.
The Lady Hornets might just have made their biggest leap of the year in the Corsicana gym with a tough five set win against Corsicana, snapping the Tigers’ five-game winning streak in dual matches.
In the end it read 25-19, 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-8, but it was a night full of drama and momentum changes.
And possibly a season-changer for Athens.
“That’s the best we’ve played all year,’’ Athens coach Liz Ramsey said after her team came back to win the final two sets. “The difference is we believed in ourselves. We won a couple of matches last week against Grapeland and Trinity. We got a little confidence and it really helped us.’’
It was a typical match between the two teams, which are both on the upswing.
It was just a tough night for the Tigers, who are 7-8. Athens is 8-9 now with a three-game winning streak.
Corsicana coach Ashley Grace was disappointed, and admitted the hole was too big to dig out of.
“We have got to receive the ball better,’’ she said. “And you can’t be seven points down and think you’re going to play well.’’
Briana Biltz (18 kills and 21 assists) and her younger sister Caroline, a freshman, (15 kills, 18 digs) led the way for Corsicana, and Mychellete Andrews had six kills to help at the net.
“They’re really good,’’ Ramsey said of Corsicana. “We were going at it point for point.’’
That was the case literally in the first two sets when the two teams battled through 21 ties. They split the first two, and then Corsicana took over with a strong set to take a 2-1 lead, but Hannah Fiensod opened the fourth set with a 6-0 service run that included three aces, and the Lady Hornets took the momentum of Fiensod’s streak and never trailed again.
Corsicana closed to 14-13, thanks to another strong game at the net from the Biltz sisters and were within a point when McKala Goodwin slammed home the 13th point.
It stayed close until Fiensod put together another streak at service — a 6-0 run that lifted Athens to a 21-13 lead. The Tigers came roaring back, and after trailing 24-16, they ripped off a 5-0 run that was highlighted by a Briana Biltz slam and two big blocks from Andrews to close to 24-21. But Athens closed the deal to even the sets at 2-2, and the Lady Hornets built a quick 4-1 lead in the fifth set and never looked back.
Athens was led at the net by Cari Aguilera, who led the Lady Hornets in both kills and digs.
“She really had a good game,’’ Ramsey said of Aguilera. She also praised Fiensod and talked about how her opening service streak in the fourth set made the difference.
“That was the turning point,’’ Ramsey said. “I told them we had to push for the lead and hold it, and in the (fourth set) we finally got the lead. I knew (Corsicana) wouldn’t give up, and they didn’t.’’