Despite falling behind 2-1 in its match against Bandys on Thursday, Newton-Conover never relinquished hope.
The Lady Red Devils (5-1, 2-0) won the final two games against the Lady Trojans (1-1, 1-1) to win the CVAC match in dramatic fashion, 25-21, 19-25, 9-25, 25-18, 15-13.
“Bandys played hard,” said Newton-Conover coach Linda Richards. “They are a good team. We are lucky to come out of here with a win.”
After losing the first game to Newton-Conover, Bandys picked up two impressive wins in the second and third games.
“It was an intense match,” said Bandys coach Randi Keith. “We might not have the biggest team, but we have the biggest hearts. I couldn’t ask for more. They gave me everything. Some of them are probably shaking because they are about to pass out from giving me so much.”
The most impressive of Bandys’ two game victories came in the third.
Following a 6-5 lead, Bandys went on a 19-4 run to take the game and take a 2-1 match lead.
“We just got down and panicked,” Richards said of the third game. “Our heads were gone. You could see it on our faces on the court. They weren’t getting in the game at all.”
Starting fresh in the fourth game, the Lady Red Devils seized the opportunity to change momentum in the match by jumping ahead 9-4.
Isabella Zaliagiris and Corbin Evans delivered a combined five kills early in the game. Newton-Conover was able to build a lead and hold on to send the match into a fifth and deciding game.
Noticing an important part of her team’s game was hindering them from winning, Richards focused her teams efforts.
“The servicing was key,” Richards said. “Every game Bandys beat us, we lost on servicing. The fourth and fifth game, we came out on top because of servicing.”
The strategy seemed to work. Going back-and-forth in the early points of the fifth game, Newton-Conover built a small lead they did not give up.
Zaliagiris led the Lady Red Devils with 16 kills. Sarah Van Horn had 36 digs defensively.
Leading Bandys was Chelsey Queen, who had 19 kills, and Taylor Sigmon, who had 17 kills and 14 passes.