(Trevor Tegley / CCN Contributing Photographer) [Order this photo]
(Trevor Tegley / CCN Contributing Photographer)
After falling 25-22 in the first game, the Lady Tigers, 7-4 in 1-3A, bounced back for a 25-23 win in the second to square the match. Valley Springs capitalized on a strong service effort from Emmalee Taylor during the game as the freshman recorded 12 straight points before Green Forest could stop the damage.
The visiting Lady Tigers (11-3 in 1-3A) closed out the match with a 27-25 win in the fourth and final game.
"They beat us in four last time but the games were not as close," Killingsworth said. "That run in the third game totally took our momentum."
Green Forest coach Trista Killingsworth said Valley Springs' serves, including the stretch in the third, was the deciding factor.
"Ours came along in the end," Killingsworth said. "We just didn't handle that run in the third very well."
Green Forest got outstanding play at the net from sophomore Payton Watson and juniors Audrey Foster and Anna Blach. Watson recorded 10 kills, Blach had four and Foster added seven.
"She did a really good job," Killingsworth said of Foster. "That was a career high for her."
Foster added an ace while Watson added six digs and three blocks and Blach had three digs and a tip.
The Lady Tigers continued to fight back throughout the match, coming back from a 17-12 deficit in the first game to pull to within a point at 23-22 before losing the final two points. The Lady Tigers were down by four early in the second before fighting back for the win, bolstered by Watson's two straight kills to put Green Forest on top 22-20. Watson then blocked a shot for a 24-20 lead and Blach put it away with a kill for the final point.Watson had three kills in the early going of Game 3 and Green Forest held a 12-9 advantage when Valley Springs coach Christie Popejoy called a time out. Out of the break, Taylor went on the serving spree that ended with Valley leading 23-14. Green Forest once again made a comeback, fighting to within four at 24-20 behind strong serving from junior Keylen Bell. But the visiting Tigers secured the win when Bell served the final point into the net.
Green Forest had a chance to extend the match with game point at 25-24 in the fourth but couldn't find an opening and Valley scored the final three points to seal the victory.
"We have had so many injuries that the last two weeks is the first time we have had our original starters on the floor," Popejoy said. "The last two weeks is the first time we've played with the same six since the season started. I am just impressed that we continue to win."
Bell finished with a dig, one ace, six assists and a tip, Kelsey Deckard added 12 digs, Harleigh Andrews had a pair of digs and Emily Glassell had two kills and four digs with two aces.
In the loss to Bergman (25-20, 25-19, 25-19), Newberry had two digs, an ace and a tip, Bell added six digs and three aces, Foster tallied four kills and a pair of blocks, Blach had three kills, two digs and four aces, Deckard had 10 digs, Glassell recorded seven kills and six digs, Watson collected three kills, six digs, two aces, three blocks and a tip and Williams contributed a dig and an ace.
Killingsworth said the losses put Green Forest in a hole as the playoff race starts to shape up. The Lady Tigers are currently fourth in the conference with three division matches remaining.
"We don't want to go any lower than that," she said. "We would like to get third, but no lower than fourth."