Tallassee volleyball coach Katie Rigsby agreed with a fan’s opinion Thursday’s match with Elmore County was “exciting and frustrating at the same time.”
Risgby said the pre-match conversation with Elmore County coach Kim Moncrief centered around the inconsistencies of their squads.
The Tigers found themselves trailing 2-1 in the match after taking the first set 25-22.
It wouldn’t be described as a masterpiece, but Tallassee survived a tough five-set battle and held on for a 15-10 win in the deciding set.
The Tigers (7-4) found some momentum before taking on powerhouse Brewbaker Tech on Tuesday. Rigsby called the area showdown “the biggest match of the season.”
“Both teams were up and down,” Tigers coach Katie Risgby said. “I told the girls (before the fourth set) that this game would come down to who had the most heart and made the least mistakes. This is a huge win for us.”
Tallassee took the fourth set 25-20 after finishing on a 6-1 run after the set was tied at 19-19. Tallassee used an 8-0 run to take early control of the final set.
Sally Shipman led Tallassee with 12 kills, 17 digs and a block. Chloe Baynes finished with seven kills and 16 digs. Ansley Osborne had five aces and eight assists.
“We’ve looking great at times and we’ve looked terrible at times,” Rigsby said. “We just kept battling and we got some breaks. We had a set that went straight up in the air and went down for us. Sometimes things just go your way.”
Only one of the five sets saw a team hold a double-digit lead at any point. Elmore County (7-4) took a 25-22 win in the second set and held on for a 25-20 win in the third set after leading 17-7.
The Panthers were led by Mirriam Foster’s 15 kills and Kelley Green’s 13. Brianna Baker finished with 37 digs and Foster tallied 20.
Moncrief had a long conversation with her team following Thursday’s match.
“We’re really coming short in the mental game right now,” Moncrief said. “We had service errors, and we usually don’t have those. We have the talent and the ability. We’re just not putting it all together right now. We’ve got a lot to correct.”
Elmore County is seeking its 10th consecutive area championship and is two seasons removed from a run to the state tournament.
With expectations high, Moncrief said she hopes a difficult non-area schedule will allow her team to blossom when it matters most.
“We learned a lot from this loss,” Moncrief said. “That’s why we play these games outside our region. We want to be prepared when the pressure’s on. We have to get back to controlling what we can control.”