Crestview walked into Cardinal Mooney’s gym on Thursday night with an unblemished 7-0 record. They had to use every ounce of emery they had to walk out with a perfect 8-0 record. The Rebels won a thriller in five sets (16-25 24-26 25-15 25-20 18-16).
Min the first set the story of the match was Mooney’s net defense. Led by Magen Petty the Cardinal’s front line seemed like an unbreakable brick wall in the first set. The Cardinals have no problem in set one winning 25-16.
Just like the first set, Mooney jumped out to a big lead in set two. Mainly using their dominant blocking. However, the story as the set went along when Rebel outside hitter Tess Neville sat out for a point after committing a couple of hitting errors in a row. The mental break flipped a switch in Neville and she quickly became the Rebels go-to attacker. She, and her team clawed their way back in to set two and tied it up 24-24. Mooney came up with two big points though and took a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
You could tell right away that even though Mooney won set two, Crestview had gathered the momentum. All of their hitters began to come alive in set three and their sophomore setter Lucy Montgomery did an excellent job at distributing the ball to her many weapons. The Rebels rolled to a 25-15 set three win.
Set four was a polar opposite of set two. The Rebels this time were the ones to come out to a big lead. However, the serving of Caitlyn Sapp rallied Mooney to get close to the Crestview lead. Mooney rattled off 7 points in a row to climb within 3. With the score 22-19 Crestview finally broke through with some much needed points. They took the set but it was Mooney now feeling better about themselves.
Both teams looked like they were running on fumes as the fifth and decisive set came upon them. And they traded points back and forth 9 times in a row. At 9-9 neither team had a lead greater than one. Then Mooney made what looked like a match sealing 4-1 rally going up 13-10. But the story all night for Crestview was resiliency and they gathered some more up to grab three points in a row and tie the set up at 13. The two teams started their back and forth tug of war battle again, neither team being able to get two points in a row. Until after maybe the longest rally of the match Brenna Auer steppes up with the match sealing kill for Crestview.
The Rebels were led in kills by Tess Neville who gathered 12. She also had 3 aces. Two Rebels collected double doubles, Brenna Auer got 10 kills and 25 digs. Lucy Montgomery tallied 40 assists and 10 digs.
Crestview returns to action on Saturday as they travel to Western Reserve. Mooney stays at home to host Southeast on Tuesday night.