Gryphons drop five-set heartbreaker to Vikings

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 06:48 AM

The Thomas Jefferson volleyball team battled hard for five sets, but it was not enough as they dropped a marathon match to Avery 3-2 Wednesday night (25-17, 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-13).

“Even though we lost the game, I think this is the best we played all year,” said TJCA head coach Jamie Carver.  "I’m so proud of the team. I think we just got a little tight in the fifth set and we just couldn’t finish.”

TJCA (3-12, 2-8 SPC) broke out to a 3-0 lead in the first set thanks to an Allie Bishop ace and a Callie Gillis kill. Avery responded with a 7-0 run before Gillis broke serve and delivered two aces to cut the deficit to 7-6.  From that point however, miss hits and other errors, but their serving kept the game close. Three aces by Alyssa Edwards cut the deficit to 18-16, but a 7-1 run by the Vikings closed the set at 25-17.

The second set once again began with the Lady Gryphons finding the floor with aces.  By the time Brianna Kale found the floor, TJCA had grabbed a 10-3 lead.  Moments later Autumn Edwards blocked a kill attempt to make the tally 14-4.  

Avery then went on a long run to pull within 21-16, but a kill from Lauren Wiltsek broke the serve and broke the momentum. The visitors would not go away quietly as they closed to 23-22.  A Viking attack error and a Gillis tip allowed the Gryphons to hang on 25-23.

Game three was tight early as the squads split the first 10 points.

TJCA grabbed an 8-6 lead when the Edwards twins combined for a block on the right side. That was the largest lead either team would see until Gabbie Gray’s ace and Wiltsek’s kill made the score 20-15 in favor of the Gryphons. 

Moments later, Wiltsek garnered an ace to make the tally 23-18. A block by Autumn Edwards put the Gryphons on the verge of victory and an Avery attack error gave TJCA a 25-22 win.

The fourth set was once again tight early as the teams split the first twelve points. TJCA then won a trio of long vollies, but Avery responded and eventually the set was tied again at 12-12.  The set was tied twice more before the Vikings grabbed a 20-15 lead and never looked back, forcing a fifth game, 25-20.

Neither side gained an advantage early as they split the first 16 points. From that point, however, TJCA had trouble defending the middle of the floor as Avery an 11-9 lead. An Autumn Edwards ace broke the run and a Wiltsek kill pulled TJCA to 14 13.

Alyssa Edwards looked poised to hammer home the game tying kill but she swung and missed to give Avery the 3-2 match win, 15-13.

TJCA returns to the court today as they travel to face Pine Lake Prep.