CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee Arrows pulled off a spectacular comeback as they battled back from a 2-1 deficit to take home the 3-2 win over Milton-Union on Thursday, Sept. 3.
Despite taking the first set, including a 10-point run to increase their lead from 10/7 to 20/7, issues presented themselves early for the Arrows as Milton-Union fought back and made it 25/19 after some errors by the Arrows.
The second set was heavily contested by both teams, but the Bulldogs were able to outlast Preble Shawnee and take it 26-24 to tie things up.
Shawnee found themselves down 17-9 in the third set, eventually fighting to a four-point deficit at 20-16.
From there, the Arrows earned six straight points to take a 22-16 lead in the set.
A few rallies later, Preble Shawnee was up 24-23, but Milton-Union scored three straight to take the third set 26-24.
“They were tipping a lot,” coach Joshua Evans said. “They were finding the right shots. It just took me a second to realize where they were to shift a couple [of players].”
In the fourth set, Preble Shawnee and Milton-Union continued to keep things close, tied at 20 late in the set.
The Bulldogs took a 22-20 lead, but the Arrows fired off five straight points to take the set 25-22, capped off by a kill from freshman Kahlen Kulms that sent the team and the stands into a frenzy as the match headed to the fifth set.
Kulms led the team with five blocks and added seven kills.
While the first four sets didn’t see either team truly pull away, the fifth set saw Preble Shawnee establish dominance over the Bulldogs.
Up 11-5, a long rally ended with a Preble Shawnee point, even after they recovered the ball after it hit the basketball post in their home gym.
Five rallies later, the Arrows completed the comeback with a 15-6 win in the fifth set for the 3-2 victory over Milton-Union.
Coach Evans first thought after the match?
“How proud I am,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to keep ourselves in the middle of the match. We’ve been digging holes like that, but fighting back is a big thing…it’s just how proud I am.”
Sophomore Harlee Howard led the Arrows with 24 kills and 26 digs.
Senior Hailee Howard added 16 digs and six kills while senior Kendel George had 18 digs.
Senior Madison Hibbard added 13 digs while junior Carlyn George had 14 digs and a team-high six aces.
The win moves Preble Shawnee to 3-1 on the season in Evans’ first season.
“It’s a big adjustment, being a new coach, trying to get the girls to buy into the system, which they are,” he said. “We’re starting to show it. I’ve got a lot of skill on this team. If I could just them all going, we’re going to be somebody to deal with.”
Preble Shawnee was set to play Carlisle at home on Sept. 5 and will head on the road to face Carlisle on Sept. 15.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles