Generals fall to Page County
By Tommy Keeler Jr.
QUICKSBURG — Stonewall Jackson fought hard for three sets, but came up short in a 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-23) loss to Page County in Shenandoah District volleyball action on Tuesday night.
“We’re slowly but surely improving,” Stonewall Jackson coach Lindsey Dinges said. “They played so well in the third set. It’s disappointing to lose, but I’m hoping we can move forward from this.”
The Generals trailed early in each set, but made the most strides in the third set. A kill by Emily Ball and an ace from Cheyenne Crigger helped the Generals to a 5-5 tie early on.
The Panthers went on a 5-1 run to take a 10-6 lead, but the Generals came right back.
Stonewall Jackson used two aces by Kaylin Miller and one by Elizabeth Moomaw during a 8-3 spurt to take a 15-14 lead.
It would be the last lead the Generals would have. A kill each by Rachel McCoy and Alexa Wolf sparked a 6-1 run to build a 20-16 edge for the Panthers.
“We did not really play our best,” Page County coach Jack Glover said. “The girls had some difficulty trying to stay focused with what they were doing out there. So we had some good runs and some bad runs.
“I think we kind of got down [in the third set] due to lack of focus and not really respecting Stonewall to the level that we should be.”
The Generals (2-9, 0-7 Shenandoah) did not go away quietly. An ace by Madison Long and a kill and a block by Allie Singleton helped the Generals cut the lead to 23-22.
Page County’s Lauren Wolf and Stonewall Jackson’s Long traded kills, before the Panthers put the match away on a kill by Kara Comer.
“Mental game at this level is really big,” Glover said. “It doesn’t take much for girls to just lose their focus or concentration, get down on themselves, be negative and kind of lose track of things that way. It was good to see them rebound from that [in the third set].”
The Generals started out the match playing very even with the Panthers. Stonewall Jackson had a 10-8 lead, led by two kills from Long and a block from Singleton. The two teams went back and forth until it was 13-13, but then the Panthers pulled away for good. Page County (6-5, 3-4) won 12 of the next 13 points.
The second set looked like it might be more of the same as the Panthers built a 20-13 lead.
The Generals bounced back with two kills by Crigger and one by Delaney Wallace to cut the lead to 23-18. Two Page County kills finished the set off.
“Communication is a big issue,” Dinges said. “We give away too many easy points. We are giving away more points than we are giving ourselves.”
Alexa Wolf had 13 kills and a block, and Comer had six kills for the Panthers. McCoy also had three kills for Page County.
The Panthers have a young squad with a combined seven freshmen and sophomores on the squad. The Panthers are 3-4 in the district, and as they begin to play each team a second time Glover said he’s hoping even better results.
“I’m optimistic about the second round of play,” Glover said. “Even though we were 3-4, I felt like we should have played better in some of the matches that we lost. I’m cautiously optimistic about our second half.”
Singleton had one kill and four blocks, and Crigger had four kills for the Generals.
Stonewall Jackson has five seniors and seven combined sophomores and juniors, and Dinges is hopeful they will continue to show improvement as they search for their first district win.
“We start over on our district games on Thursday. So I’m hoping that we can show the district that we have improved and come back and win some,” Dinges said. “We’re just going to keep working, and hopefully we can pull through with a win before the end of the season.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org