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Linsly outlasts Shadyside in five sets

WHEELING — When it came to Tuesday’s match against Shadyside, the Linsly volleyball team had to surmount a comeback in three straight sets. Unfortunately with two of them, the holes were just too big to overcome. However, in the decisive set, the Cadets made sure they weren’t going to play from behind again.

Mission accomplished.

Linsly ran out to a 8-3 lead before surviving a furious rally by Shadyside to take the final set and match in a 25-21, 26-24, 25-27, 23-25, 15-11 victory at the Stifel Field House.

“Our passing was a huge part of it,” Linsly coach Ashlee Jividen said. “That’s something we’ve been working on quite a bit is getting to be our passes to be consistent. That’s something we’ve improved on and I think held us throughout five sets.”

After falling behind in the second set, 22-17, the Cadets collected six points to take the lead, and eventually the set to go up 2-0.

It looked like it was going to be more of the same in the third set. After falling behind 10-5, Shadyside reeled off 12 straight points and 15 of the next 17 to take a comfortable 20-12 lead. The Cadets, though, did not throw in the towel as they kept digging their way out of the hole. Scoring 11 of the next 14 points, the Cadets tied it at 23-23. However, the Tigers were able to avoid a sweep and with the score at 25-25, took the next two points.

The fourth set was almost a mirror image of the third. The Tigers gained a 17-11 lead, before fighting off another Cadets rally. Linsly eventually tied it at 20-20, and took the lead on the very next point. However, with the score deadlocked at 23-23, Shadyside was able to take the next two points to make the make go into a decisive set.

“That’s something that we’ve been trying to work on. That point-by-point,” Jividen said. “And then really focusing on the moments and focusing on that individual point and not looking at the full picture. We try to break it down the best we can.”

The Cadets, regained focus and raced out to an 8-3 lead in the fifth. However, it was Shadyside’s turn to try and make a comeback effort. And the Tigers did as they cut their deficit to one, 11-10. Linsly, though scored four of the final five points to take the match.

“We definitely started slow,” Shadyside coach Eric Mercer said. “Being down 2-0, away, it’s tough to amount a comeback like that and we did. The girls fought back hard, won the second two sets and took it to five. We had some momentum, had some errors down the stretch and couldn’t finish. I’m really proud of our effort, though. Really proud. They played their hearts out. I’m not disappointed in their efforts at all.”

Charlie Allison led the Cadets with 38 kills and 16 digs while London Podobnik dished out 58 assists. Mili Seklovic had 15 kills and Celia Demarchi gathered 14 digs.

For the Tigers, Tory Hendershot collected 14 kills and seven digs while Gentry Brown had 18 kills and six digs.

Paige Gorby turned in a 15-kill, 9 dig and six block performance and Caroline Mercer had 43 assists and seven digs.

“I’ve told them all year long a loss isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Mercer said. “In the regular season, when it’s to a good team and you play well, I’m not going to be disappointed in that loss if it grows us as a team. We have to learn from it and get better because of it.”

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