COLE CAMP — The Lady Bluebirds made a name for themselves last season for their comebacks and they proved that ability is still there as they rallied from down eight in the first set and down six in the second set to beat Green Ridge 25-20, 25-23 Saturday to win the Kaysinger Conference Tournament title.
“We needed a good, tough match like that,” said Cole Camp coach Abby Massingill. “I think playing matches like that build character and they proved (Saturday) that they’ve got the fight in them to stick together and depend on each other.”
After Cole Camp took a 2-1 lead in the first set, Green Ridge scored the next nine to lead 10-2.
Quincy Scotten used two hands to get the ball over the net to make it 2-2 and Haley McCarthy followed that with a kill to give Green Ridge the lead.
Cole Camp hit the ball out of bounds to make it 6-2 and 8-2. Bailey Harding’s aces scored the seventh and ninth points for the Lady Tigers. Harding had three aces for the match.
Cole Camp had miscommunication on who should spike the ball and it gave Green Ridge its ninth straight point.
The second set started out more evenly matched with the Lady Tigers leading 11-10 before going on a 5-0 run.
Madisyn Bridges accounted for the first two points of the run before and ace, kill and a block made it 16-10 Green Ridge. Bridges had six kills and two blocks.
Green Ridge later led 18-12 before the Lady Bluebirds started their rally.
With the score 20-15, Alyssa Oelrichs got a block, Green Ridge hit the ball into the net, and Lyza Jamerson and Oelrichs each got a kill to get Cole Camp within one.
Oelrichs had six kills and seven assists. Jamerson ended up with five kills.
Cole Camp eventually took a 24-23 lead when Green Ridge hit the ball into the net and Bailey Heimsoth sealed the conference tournament title with a kill. Heimsoth had five kills and 10 digs.
Heimsoth got the comeback started in the first set with a kill to make it 10-3.
Gabi Mallard later tapped the ball over for a point to pull within four. Jamerson’s kill made it 11-9 and Jamerson then tapped it over the net with two hands to pull Cole Camp within one.
“They got themselves in a hole and they dug themselves right back out,” Massingill said.
Green Ridge hit the ball out of play to make it an 11-11 tie.
Cole Camp eventually took a 19-18 lead, which was the start of a 6-0 run and the Lady Bluebirds closed it out to win 25-20.
One of the stars for Green Ridge was libero Merry Allen, who had 13 digs in the title match.
“I think I’ve got the best libero in the conference,” said Green Ridge coach Lori Larimore. “She did a great job (Saturday).”
In the third place game, Stover beat Northwest 25-15, 25-9.
The Lady Mustangs upset Sacred Heart to start bracket play Saturday and lost to Cole Camp in the semifinals.
Stover lost to Green Ridge in three sets to end up in the third place game.
“My girls played great all day long,” Larimore said. “Each and every girls stepped up and did the job that we asked them to do.”
Northwest kept it close for much of the first set, only trailing 13-9 and 20-14 before Stover finished on a 5-1 run.
The Lady Mustangs led 3-0 in the second set, but Stover took an 8-7 lead and never surrendered it.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.