SPORTS >>NP ladies drop opener
By JASON KING
Leader sports writer
The North Pulaski Lady Falcons’ season opener at Pulaski Robinson went down to the wire Thursday night in a five-set thriller. After winning the first and third sets to take a 2-1 advantage in the match, the Lady Falcons lost the final two sets, giving Joe T. the come-from-behind win.
With neither team holding any kind of real size or skill advantage, the match became a fight for momentum. The Lady Falcons controlled the odd sets while the Lady Senators took the even sets, until the fifth and final round, when Joe T. put the match away with a 15-11 win.
“I thought it was pretty evenly matched the entire way,” Lady Falcons coach Amanda Hill said. “We have a couple of adjustments to work on before our conference season starts, but that’s what these non-conference matches are for. Overall, I was very happy with the way the girls played. They see that they can go out and win now; I wasn’t sure if they would see that or not, but I think they have a little more confidence now.”
While the Lady Senators relied mostly on the hitting of Abby Fletcher and serving from Alashia Adams, the Lady Falcons spread their game out into more of a concentrated team effort. Samantha Barrow led in the kills department with Jennifer Peters and Tamara Rhodes right behind her, while Lecreishia Cash led the way in blocking. Kristyn James and Tuaneishia Ridgeway looked the best behind the service line, and Taylor Barrow set the majority of assists during the match.
“Lecreishia is one of our seniors, and we are relying on her to do big things for us this season.” Hill said. “They all want to contribute, though. We are one team, with one goal, and everyone will make a difference this year.”
It was obvious from the first set that the match would be momentum-based. Joe T. quickly moved out to a 3-0 lead, but the Lady Falcons overtook them 5-4 soon afterward.
Once out in front, they built up a three-point advantage that they maintained most of the way in the first set to win 25-22.
It was Pulaski Robinson that controlled things in the second set. The Lady Senators led the entire frame, taking a 25-19 win to tie the match a one set each.
It looked like North Pulaski would dominate the third set early on, but it turned out to be the most closely contested set of the entire match. A kill from Barrow put the Lady Falcons up 13-6, but Joe T. came roaring back to tie things up at 14-all moments later.
The Lady Senators took a brief 18-17 lead in the set, before a North Pulaski rally swung the momentum in its direction once again, as the Lady Falcons took a one-set advantage with a 25-22 win in set number three.
The fourth set was the only lop-sided decision of the entire contest. Joe T. roared out to an 18-7 lead courtesy of several service aces and a couple of NP errors. The Lady Falcons closed the gap in the waning moments of the frame, but Robinson went on to win set four 25-15, setting up a winner-take-all shootout in the fifth and final set.
North Pulaski’s next match will be Tuesday at home against Greenbrier in a varsity and junior varsity double header, with the JV teams taking to the court starting at 5 p.m.