Staked to a two-set lead over visiting Switzerland County Wednesday night (Aug. 21) and searching for their first win of the 2019 campaign, the Oldenburg Academy Lady Twisters ultimately held off a furious Lady Pacer comeback to post a five-set victory.
After closing out 25-20 and 25-21 sets to begin the evening, the Twisters were struck a 25-12 blow in the third and a nip-and-tuck fourth fell to the Pacers, 25-23.
The fifth started with a bang as senior Alexa Miles served OA to a 5-0 lead behind one kill apiece from juniors Jessica Rees and Ella Fledderman. The Pacers climbed back to 5-3 before a 6-1 sprint by the hosts forced a timeout at 11-4. Rees and sophomore libero Elizabeth Gigrich were behind the service line during the run as senior Harlee Masavage and soph Katie Johnson each hit a winner.
A Fledderman kill padded the lead to eight and two SC misplays gave OA match point at 14-5. Two Pacer drop shots made it 14-7, but junior Annaliese Nobbe’s ball rolled off the net cord on SC’s side of the court for the winning point (15-7).
Nobbe also finished the night’s first point, helping OA to a quick 4-0 advantage. Switz reeled off the next four to tie the set. Knotted at six, OA made another dash to 9-6 and led the rest of the way.
A Masavage kill made it 10-7. At 12-8, three straight OA errors preceded a 6-point flurry backed by the serving of Miles. Included was a kill by sophomore Emma Back. After a timeout at 18-11, SC closed the gap slightly despite Rees and Johnson kills; at 22-19, Twister head coach Debbie Gregg wanted time. A Pacer ace followed, but Gigrich served out the set.
Miles again triggered OA to a fast lead in the second, serving to a 4-0 lead. Rees’ ace and Masavage’s kill helped maintain an 8-4 cushion. Fledderman’s kill later made it 12-9 and Masavage executed a cross-court finish from the outside to keep it a three-point edge.
A trio of dinks and an attack by Johnson led to an SC timeout at 19-13. A Nobbe kill and block, a pair of Johnson aces and a Rees drop shot put OA at set point–24-14. Hannah Hayes then served the Pacers to a 7-0 run. Her next serve sailed long to end the set.
Hoping for a sweep, OA instead found itself down 8-0 in the ensuing set as Madesyn Byrd served for the guests. Gregg called timeout at 6-0 but the lead ballooned to 11-1. SC shot ahead 16-3 prior to a mini Twister run; Masavage added a kill and Johnson finished two straight rallies. Ally Furnish served three aces in a row for the visitors, leading to an OA timeout at 20-7. Freshman Aubrey Kennelly landed four service points for the home team. However, Carly Bennett returned the favor as Switzerland closed the set on a 5-0 run.
The pivotal fourth set featured seven ties and some intense rallies. The Pacers had the early momentum and Furnish’s winner after a long rally produced the set’s biggest margin at 10-5. At 11-6, OA–again behind the serving hand of Miles–ran off four straight. Rees had a kill and Masavage a solo block.
Trailing 14-11, Gigrich’s ace and kills by Fledderman and Johnson forced an SC timeout as OA went up 15-14. After a 4-hit call went against the Twisters, the team huddled up, down 19-17. Still down by two, OA rattled off three straight to lead 22-21 ahead of a Pacer timeout. The point of the night led into the break; Fledderman and Johnson had key digs to keep it alive and Rees finished. A net violation was part of a 3-point SC run. After an OA timeout, Hayes provided the set-winner.
Oldenburg won the junior varsity match in straight sets, taking a 25-17, 25-10 win.
OA (1-1) traveled to Southwestern Shelbyville Thursday (results not available at press time) and hosts Rising Sun Tuesday.
Vs. Greensburg (Aug. 20)
The Greensburg Lady Pirates overpowered the Twisters in Oldenburg Tuesday evening, winning 25-12, 25-11 and 25-15.
Greensburg frontliner Anna West went for 14 kills on the evening and added 2 solo blocks.
Gigrich compiled 11 digs for OA and Fledderman added 8 assists and 2 solo blocks. Johnson recorded 4 kills and a pair of solo blocks. Miles and Back each served 3 aces.