|COVINGTON WINS THRILLER OVER ANSONIA...
The Covington Lady Buccs rebounded from a disappointing effort against Versailles to capture a thrilling victory over Ansonia.
OCTOBER 2, 2007 - COVINGTON
After Monday's eye-opener against one of the top teams in the state, the Covington Lady Buccs were looking to regroup just 24 hours later in a Cross County Conference match-up with Ansonia.
"I knew coming in that Ansonia was a scrappy team and they were one of the better teams in our league," said Covington coach Jim Smith. "So I knew this would be a tough match for us."
Smith got what he expected as the visiting Tigers jumped on Covington early and eventually squeaked out a 25-22 victory in the first game.
"We started out slow again tonight and made a lot of mistakes with our serve receive and setting," Smith said. "But we started passing the ball better in the second and third game."
The results were back-to-back 25-20 wins in games two and three to give Covington and 2-1 lead in the match.
"We've been trying all season to get Holly Tobias more involved because she is our best hitter," Smith said. "She can really put the ball away when we can get it to her. We did a much better of that tonight."
Still, the scrappiness of Ansonia prevented Covington from closing out the contest in the fourth game.
With Ansonia holding a 19-18 lead, the Lady Tigers score six straight points to extend the match to a fifth game.
"I think we struggle with our confidence," Smith explained. "The long stretch against good competition at the beginning of the season didn't help our confidence and it shows in close matches."
Covington jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fifth game, but Ansonia battled back to tie the score at 13-13 and eventually had two opportunities at game-point.
Each time Covington turned the Tigers away.
With Ansonia leading 15-14, Holly Tobias recorded a big block to tie the score. She then faked out the Ansonia defense with a perfectly placed tip to give Covington a 16-15 lead.
The Lady Buccs' final point came when an Ansonia hitter couldn't get the ball to clear the net, giving Covington a thrilling 17-15 victory.
"I was a little worried when they (Ansonia) was serving for game-point because Holly was in the back row," described Smith. "But Shelby (Hoblit) got a big block and the next time they were serving for game-point Holly was in the front row. Holly was able to get the block and then put the ball away."
The way Covington overcame adversity throughout the match should help with the confidence Smith would like to see in his team.
"The girls have to stay confident in themselves and each other," said Smith. "They have the ability to be very good. They just don't know it. Confidence is what we are missing."
Covington improves to 8-10 overall and 5-4 in the CCC.