FREDERICKTOWN — It was a battle between two top teams in the Mid-Buckeye Conference. And it showed.
The Centerburg Trojans survived a grueling four-game match Tuesday against Fredericktown, winning 25-16, 11-25, 25-22, 25-22.
It didn’t look like it would last long at first. Centerburg came out firing, scoring the first nine points.
“I thought we got manhandled that first game, and we felt the need to respond,” Fredericktown head coach Marilyn Rutherford said.
Fredericktown did respond, but too late as they dropped the first game. But like a tiger stalking its prey, the Freddies suddenly attacked. They attacked at the net. They deflected Centerburg’s scoring chances. Fredericktown junior Lyndsay Briegel led the way with nine kills and 16 digs. Junior Tierany Smith added 12 assists. They carried emotion and momentum on a 16-1 run in the second game.
“The girls just relaxed. We regrouped, took a deep breath, and realized we had to win three. Our serving and passing really picked up that second game,” Rutherford said.
Having dropped the second game, the Trojans knew it was time to respond. Capitalizing on Fredericktown mistakes, Centerburg took the lead midway through the third and held on.
“We revamped what we’re doing,” Centerburg head coach Ami Stevens said. “We sat them down and showed them videos [last week], and showed them how a team interacts. And they took that and ran with it.”
The fourth game was like the third. Back and forth, with no solid advantage either way. Ultimately, Centerburg held on, thanks to great play on the net by sophomore Tristen Simpson who ended the night with 12 kills. Freshman Kendall Compton added 20 assists.