Note: This sports recap appears in the Wednesday, Sept. 11 newspaper on Page B4.
WAVERLY — Having a week off in the beginning of the season is a bit of a catch 22.
On one hand you get the chance to work on the things that needed sharpened. But on the other hand, you’re missing early season competition to get better.
Jackson (4-2) suffered on the wrong end and fell victim to Waverly in straight sets 25-22, 25-22 and 26-24 on Monday.
“Despite us having a week off and not playing, I was pretty happy with how we fought,” Jackson coach Jay Martin said. “We hung right in and stayed even with Waverly, but we had some serving errors and miscues at inopportune times that cost us points.”
Both teams couldn’t have been more even out of gates as their were five ties before either team had 10 points, but two miscues on Waverly’s part gave Jackson an 11-9 lead.
Later in the set, Kaydee Brown stepped back to the serving line and finished with back-to-back aces for a 15-10 Ironladies lead.
“She’s a very solid player and one of the better spot servers on the team,” Martin said. “She sees the court pretty well, has a high volleyball IQ and isn’t afraid to attack. I’ve seen a lot of improvement from her and she wants it.”
But Waverly responded with 10 of the next 15 points to tie the game at 20 before going to its best player to finish the job.
After taking a 21-20 lead, Carli Knight powered down three kills to help the Tigers takes the first set.
“One set doesn’t win the match and we just had to continue fighting,” Martin said. “We talk about having short memories on the court. Once a point happens, move on and win the next one. Mistakes happen and you can’t replay the point so focus on the next one instead of the last one.”
Jackson started out the second set with a lead, but it quickly evaporated and Waverly’s Annie Silcott registered a kill for a 10-7 Tiger lead.
A few breakdowns and miscommunications eventually ballooned the lead up to 18-10 with no sign of stopping.
But volleyball is a game of momentum and a couple kills from Abbey Munn with Holley Sexton at the serving line, the Ironladies strung together a 10-3 run to close the gap to 21-20.
But they couldn’t get over the hump as Waverly scored the last four points to take the set.
“We made a nice comeback to cut the deficit down to one point, but we made a mistake that we couldn’t recover from,” Martin said. “These girls don’t stop fighting until the final point of a set is made, but mistakes at the wrong time hurt us.”
Waverly jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead in the third set, determined to get the sweep and end the night early.
However Jackson had other plans and fought back. After Kylee Bako notched a kill, she went back to the serving line and sent over an ace followed by a block from Munn to cut the lead down to 15-14.
With momentum swinging to the Ironladies’ side, the mistakes for Waverly began to pile up and a hitting error gave Jackson its first lead of the set, 20-19.
The lead got up to 24-21 and Jackson seemed to have the game in the bag after Munn set over a kill, but it was ruled out of bounds despite hitting inside of the line.
That play flipped momentum and Waverly scored the next four points for the straight-set victory.
“We played hard and showed a lot of grit in that third set,” Martin said. “This is a learning experience and we’ll continue to improve. Waverly is a really good team and credit to them for the fight they showed. It’s a game of adjustments and we’ll make some for the next game and move on.”
Jackson is back in action on Tuesday at Hillsboro, Thursday at Washington Court House and Monday at Gallia Academy.