BROOKVILLE — National Trail’s best season on the volleyball court in a decade came to end with a straight set loss to Greeneview last week.
The Blazers, who struggled at the service line, fell to the Rams 25-13, 25-20, 28-26, in the first round of the Division III sectional at Brookville High School on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
“They really did show a lot of heart that third set,” Trail coach Joy Yeazel said. “We were struggling with our passing. Then in the third set, our service really let us down. We missed five first serves and that’s something I preach to them all the time about ‘you’ve got to get that first serve in’ then go aggressive.”
Yeazel said the Rams, the No. 7 seed, kept her team off-balance most of the night.
“Greeneview really took us out of system and we were not able to keep pressure on them. We had five missed serves in the third set and three of those were on first serve,” she said. “Against a good team like Greeneview, you can not miss that many serves, especially first serves.”
Trailing 15-10 in the first set, the Blazers, the No. 9 seed, saw Greeneview push the lead the 18-10. After closing to within 18-12, Trail was outscored 7-1 to end the set.
In the second set, Greeneview raced to a 5-0 lead and led by as many as 11 points (19-8) before Trail rallied to get within 24-20.
In the third set, Trail grabbed a 7-5 lead only to see the Rams rally for a 12-8 lead.
The Blazers played from behind the rest of the set before finally drawing even at 23-23. The match was tied three more times before the Rams eventually scored the game-winner on a Trail error.
“They just never did give up and I have to commend them for that,” Yeazel said. “They really are a great group of girls and give them kudos for trying.”
Junior Tristan Bowers had 16 kills, while Angel Bowers and freshman J’da Jackson each had five kills. Angel Bowers continued her aggressive service with four aces, she also had 10 digs.
Brooke Johnson had nine assists to finish her career.
Jackson led the team in blocks with a solo block and a block assist.
Jaidyn Tout finished the match with 10 digs.
Trail ends the season 13-10.
“This is the best record we’ve had since 2009. It’s been a long time coming and we haven’t won a game in the sectional in that long either,” Yeazel said. “That was our goal this year. But we just fell a little bit short. They’ve broken some records and they’ve set some records and I look forward to next year. It’s always tough to go out losing and you never want to do that. But they showed so much heart. We played well and we proved we could hang with them and if we just improve a couple of things, and that’s what we’ll work on for next year.”
Trail will lose seniors Shelby Slade and Johnson to graduation.
“They will definitely be missed,” Yeazel said of the team’s leaders.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or follow on Twitter @emowen_RH