Volleyball

Chargers fall to Bulldogs in five set thriller

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LINDEN - — Fans got their money’s worth in the non-conference volleyball match, as North Montgomery took Clinton Central to five sets before falling 3-2.

The Chargers, who fall to 4-13 on the season, dropped the first two sets 21-25 and 29-31, but dug in and won the next two 25-23 and 25-14 to force the finale.

The Bulldogs, who move to 7-13 overall, used two four-point runs in that last set to take a couple leads, but North came back from down three to take a 14-13 lead.

The visitors used two kills and a North long hit to tally the last three points and take the 14-16 win.

“At the start of the third set, and we were down 2-0, I told the girls to find it in themselves,” Chargers coach Taylor Dyson said. “I said ‘we are playing five tonight,’ and they found the way to get there. It was most fight I’ve seen all season.”

The prediction was bold, as the Bulldogs took the first two sets and looked ready to head back home early.

They jumped out early in set 1 and kept North mostly at arms length, even weathering a 6-1 Chargers run, to take the set.

The second set never wanted to end, as the teams combined for five set points before the Bulldogs got the two-point margin.

The Chargers trailed only 1-0 in the third set, and took advantage of a handful of errors to take the set.

The fourth was all North, as a 6-0 and 8-0 scoring run put them well in the lead.

“We really cleaned up the errors,” Dyson said of the two winning sets, “and we got more serves in.”

Heading into the final set, both coaches were wary of what had been a tough serving night for both teams, with 37 service errors happening in the first four sets.

“Finishing matches has been something we have talked about and worked on a lot,” Bulldogs coach Melissa Perry said. “I was really happy that even with losing the third and fourth sets, we never got into that funk. The girls pushed and pushed in that fifth set. We got out serves in and kept our intensity and stayed mentally tough.”

Clinton Central was led by Bridgette Royer and Kortney Surber with 11 kills each. Carly Davidson had nine. Surber and Samantha Adams each had five aces.

The Chargers were led by Mckenzie Schroeder’s 20 kills, which moves the senior over the 100 kills mark for the season. She added five blocks.

Piper Ramey had 25 assists and four aces, while Rylie Gayler and Annabel Anderson had 13 and 10 digs, respectively. Gayler also had four aces.

“We were missing a couple girls due to illness,” Dyson said, and we had a couple girls really step up in their places. Macee Norman(freshman) had a really good night, and Gayler led the back row.”

Both teams will try to take the momentum from the five-set match forward.

The Bulldogs travel to Delphi Thursday and will then play Crawfordsville in the first match of a Saturday tournament.

The Chargers head to West Lafayette on Thursday.

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