Kerens volleyball coach Kristen Lynch was furious, and there was nothing she could do about it.
She even let the official know just what she thought of the way her team’s match against Cayuga was being called, and she was given a yellowcard and forced to go to her bench in a five-set loss to Cayuga.
It was that kind of night for the state-ranked Lady Cats, who dominated Cayuga in the first two sets before the match was turned upside down as Kerens was hit with one lift call after another.
Cayuga came back to win in five sets, 24-26, 20-25, 28-26, 25-13, 15-8 to all but clinch the District 14-1A title.
“I’ve never had a yellow card before,’’ said Lynch, who was still upset after the game. “But I just felt the officiating changed the mood of the game.’’ We’ve had some lift calls this year, but nothing like that.’’
If Cayuga (11-1) wins its final two matches it will clinch its ninth district title in a row.
Kerens (10-2 in district and 21-5) could have been in the driver’s seat to win the title with a win on Tuesday.
And it appeared the Lady Cats, who beat Cayuga in four sets in Cayuga earlier, would do just that.
Kerens dominated and it was clear Cayuga had no answer for Breanna Baxter, who finished the match with 17 kills, many of them torched shots that had the big crowd in the Kerens gym buzzing.
But once the calls started going against Kerens it was difficult for the Lady Cats to set up Baxter.
Kerens won a tough opening set and never trailed in the second set. They appeared ready for a sweep, but Cayuga battled back to win 28-26 and then everything seemed to change in the final two sets.
Kerens was hit with one lift call after another in the last two sets, and never could get any momentum going. Not only were the lift calls costly, because they gave Cayuga easy points, but the Kerens players were stunned by the calls and appeared to be timid at time for fear of being hit with another penalty.
The flow of the match changed dramatically for strong play and long volleys to short volleys, many that ended with penalty calls on lifts or at the net.
‘We’ve had some lift calls this year, but nothing like that,’’ Lynch said.
The calls did mount up and Cayuga took avantage of the easy lift call points and came back to win the match.
It was a frustrating loss for Kerens, which needs to win its final two matches and hope someone beats Cayuga. Lynch just wants to concentrate on her teaam now.
“We’ve got to take care of Cross Roadsa dn we’ve got to take care of Wortham,’’ she said of her final matches. “If we do that we can take second, and that’s not bad. We wanted to be district champs.’’
Baxter finished with 17 kills three blocks, nine digs, and she was 14 of 15 serving with an ace. Taylor Ames was 20 of 22 serving with four aces, and she had 26 assists and three blocks. Tinesha Tolliver (22 for 23, 4 aces, 2 kills, 2 blocks), Cambree Betts (10 of 13 with an ace, 2 kills, 4 digs), Emmanuella Armant (10 of 10, 3 kills, 1 block, 5 digs) Marqueshia Kelly (5 kills, 2 blocks), Kayla Kilcrease (14 for 14, 14 digs) and Aakiya Bivens (4 for 4 serving) all had their moments in the loss.