By Dennis Atwood -- email@example.com
QUICKSBURG -- The Stonewall Jackson Generals extended their regular season volleyball schedule as far as possible on Senior Night, but wrapped it up on a positive note by winning a five-set match over the visiting Wilson Memorial Green Hornets, 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-10) on Thursday night.
Having dropped the fourth set, 25-19, the Generals' prospects looked dim early in the crucial fifth set, as the Green Hornets move out to a 7-3 lead, sparked by four kills by junior Kasey Crist and assisted by an attack error and a service error by the Generals.
After Generals coach Jamie Armentrout called a time out, Stonewall Jackson went on a 8-1 run, fueled by two kills by junior Allison Singleton and a shared block by Singleton and Desirae Blank, while the Green Hornets committed five attack errors, resulting in an 11-8 lead for the Generals.
"In that time out [Coach Armentrout] emphasized that this was our seniors' possibly last home game, and for them, at least, if for nothing else, we needed to come together so they could have a win," Singleton said.
Wilson Memorial (2-14, 2-13 Shenandoah) clawed back on a Generals' service error and a kill by Kahla Mawyer to draw within 11-10.
Stonewall Jackson (10-8, 7-7 Shenandoah) then took command by scoring the last four points on a kill and an ace by Singleton and two kills by senior Erin Goodier, including her 13th on the night as the match-winner.
"We had problems with our confidence in bumping and we've had trouble with it in practice," Goodier said. "Once we started getting our confidence back and got our heads in the game, the bumping fell into place."
Singleton finished with a match-high 22 kills.
"Our biggest challenge is that we weren't moving efficiently," Singleton said. "We needed to overcome that and move our feet a little faster.
"I've been working really, really hard to [get more power] in my hits and it's paid off."
Wilson Memorial's attack featured three power hitters, with Whitney Harris adding eight kills to those made by Crist (18) and Mawyer (8).
But the Green Hornets' 33 attack errors offset their explosive hitting. Wilson Memorial committed only eight service errors.
"We were very close, pushing it, and not giving up, working as a team," Crist said. "We came in with good attitudes, ready to play, and we started off strong. We picked each other up when we had errors."
The Generals committed only 13 attack errors and 11 service errors.
"Wilson's a very competitive team," Armentrout said. "I don't think they've had as much success as they would like, but they're not a team you can just run over.
"We didn't come out as strong as I would like us to. We did struggle, again, with some passing and digging issues, and some communication issues. The lack of hitting errors and service errors helped us."
Michaela Koontz had 39 assists and Taylor Koontz added 49 digs for the Generals.
The Generals swept the first meeting of the season against the Green Hornets, 3-0.
The Generals entered the match tied with Page County for fifth place in the Shenandoah District at 6-7. Page County played second-place Luray on Thursday and fourth-place Riverheads (7-6) went up against East Rockingham (8-5).
So the possibilities included a three-way tie in fourth place among Stonewall, Page County and Riverheads, at 7-7; or, East Rockingham and Riverheads could end up in a tie for third-place, at 8-6, with Stonewall and Page tied for fifth place.
Shenandoah District tournament play begins on Oct. 29.