Provided by Rob Kiser
OCTOBER 19, 2021 - TROY
The Covington-Troy Christian volleyball matches were a battle to the end int both regular season matches.
The third-meeting in the opening round of the sectional tournament on Tuesday wasn't any any different.
And, while it was another close match, it was Covington winning for the third time as the Buccs came away with a 21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 21-15, 15-10 victory in Troy D-IV sectional action Tuesday night.
The Buccs, 17-6, advance to play 17-5 Newton in second round action at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Covington defeated Newton in three sets earlier this season.
“We played them early in the season,” Covington coach Ellie Cain said. “The third set, we had go all out and win. It will be a tough match.”
Troy Christian closes the season at 13-10.
And as in the second meeting, it came down to the fifth set after four sets of identical 25-21 scores.
In the final set Kearsten Wiggins served two point to give Covington a 7-3 lead.
But, two kills by Hallie Fourman rallied the Eagles into a 7-7 tie and led to a Covington timeout.
“A told them it just comes down to who wants it,” Cain said. “It comes down to whether you want your season to continue or you don’t.”
Carlie Besecker had a block and Emmaline Kiser followed with a tip on Besecker’s serve to make it 9-7.
But a four hits call on Covington and a Sarah Johnson kill on Gracie Crumbaker’s serve tied it again at 9-9.
The Buccs would then respond with six of the final seven points to win the race to 15 and the victory.
Reaghan Lamp served an ace and Kiser followed with a kill to make it 11-9.
Johnson countered with a kill for Troy Christian to make it 11-10, before Covington scored the final four points.
Nigella Reck had a kill for sideout.
After two Troy Christian errors on Taylor Kirker’s serve, Reck finished things with a kill.
“Nigella (Reck) was just named (TRC) Player of the Year,” Cain said. “I think she really stepped up at the end.”
Covington had jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set before Troy Christian rallied for a 25-21 win.
The Buccs won the next two sets 25-21 despite Sarah Johnson being a force in the middle for the Eagles.
“We tried to keep everything outside to keep the ball away from her (Johnson),” Cain said. “We looked at the films from the first two matches and made some corrections.”
Troy Christian then countered by winning the fourth set and forcing a fifth set.
Fortunately for the Lady Buccs, they were able to advance in the tournament by pulling away late in the final set.
Taylor Kirker - 3 aces, 38 assists, 2 kills, 1 solo block, 2 block assists and 13 digs.
Nigella Reck - 3 aces, 1 assist, 15 kills, 1 solo block, 1 block assist and 14 digs.
Lauren York - 6 kills and 14 digs.
Emmaline Kiser - 2 aces, 11 kills, 6 block assists and 2 digs.
Carlie Besecker - 1 ace, 6 kills, 2 solo blocks, 2 block assists and 12 digs.
Kearsten Wiggins - 1 ace, 1 assist, 1 kill5 block assists and 18 digs.
Reaghan Lemp - 1 ace and 2 digs.
Jenna Belmaggio - 3 aces and 5 digs.
LADY BUCCS CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON...
On Saturday the Lady Buccs closed out the regular season with a victory over Lehman. The varsity defeated Lehman 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18. Covington finished 11-3 TRC and 16-6 Overall. The varsity finished second in the TRC with the win.
Covington JV lost 23-25, 25-13, 18-25 to finish 11-3 TRC and 14-8 Overall.
Taylor Kirker - 3 aces, 35 assists, 2 kills, 1 solo block and 8 digs.
Nigella Reck - 2 aces, 1 assist, 11 kills, 1 block assist and 7 digs.
Lauren York - 3 aces, 3 kills, 2 block assists and 11 digs.
Carlie Besecker - 3 aces, 1 assist, 16 kills, 3 solo blocks, 4 block assists and 18 digs.
Kearsten Wiggins - 5 kills, 2 block assists and 10 digs.
Reaghan Lemp - 3 aces, 1 assist, 2 kills and 9 digs.
Jenna Belmaggio -1 ace and 2 digs.
Ella Remley - 1 kill and 1 solo block.
Karyanne Turner - 2 digs.
"It was a good team effort. We had a number of individuals step up and contribute," said coach Ellie Cain.