Coming off a tournament championship, the Columbia Lady ‘Necks could not withstand the thundering shots from the Boling Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday at home, getting swept, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20.
Though the sets were close, the Lady Necks were fighting from behind most of the night.
“We just errored ourselves out,” Columbia coach Katy Wagner said. “We kept the ball out of our hands too much, and they won too many free balls, and we gave them to many opportunities and us not enough.”
Missing shots and serves, the energy that no rmally the Lady ‘Necks bring to the court was lacking against Boling.
The Lady Bulldogs countered with a dominant performance from outside hitter Tori Arrington as she demolished the Lady ‘Neck defense all by herself.
Arrington led Boling with 20 kills on the night, finding open spaces on the Columbia side time and time again.
In the first set, which was the tightest of the three, there were 15 ties. Boling had the largest lead in the set of two points. It went down to the wire as Kate Kondra got a big block on Arrington at the net to tie it up for the last time, 23-23.
Boling won the final two points as Emily Gmitter used a tip to find an open spot, and then Arrington redeemed herself with her sixth kill in the set.
“They have to find that finish and they’d been doing it a lot in many of our matches, finding a way to finish, but unfortunately tonight we didn’t do that,” Wagner said.
A net violation started the second set as Columbia went down 1-0. The Lady ’Necks proceeded to fall behind 10-2 as Boling could do no wrong.
But the Lady ’Necks found a bit of wind as they crept back into the set, outscoring the Lady Dogs 12-5 to creep within15-14 with some big shots from Kirsten Bragg and Myriah Wessells.
However, just as hard as they fought to get back in it, they reverted with Boling once again jumping ahead, 21-15, as the Lady ‘Necks at times could not get out of their own way.
In the third set Boling’s Allie Floyd broke a 6-6 tie, and the Lady Dogs did not look back
“Our players are very talented and one thing I can say about this group is that they are very aggressive and go-getters,” Wagner said. “You will not see them let balls drop too often. They have a lot of rallies going, they get a lot of crazy out-of-system balls getting them back over the net, but like I said we just couldn’t finish tonight unfortunately,” Wagner said.
Alexis Presley led Columbia with 10 kills and Bragg chipped in eight. Jada Rhoades had 25 assists; Jayda Martinez and Bragg tied in digs with 23 each; Myriah Wessells had 18 serve/receives; both Bragg and Kondra had two blocks each.
Columbia (15-12 overall) will open District 24-4A play next Tuesday at La Marque.