Page County drops improving Stonewall

Stonewall's Israel Blank, at back, blocks a hit by Page County's Brianna Good during their Thursday night match in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG – For two teams mired in a combination 0-9 losing streak coming into Thursday’s Shenandoah District volleyball match, Stonewall Jackson and visiting Page County failed to play like they were “mired” in anything.

The Panthers (6-8 overall, 3-5 district) and Generals (2-12, 1-7) played an exciting four-set match with the visitors coming out on top 3-1.

The Generals won their first set in five games. The final was 25-19, 11-25, 25-13 and 25-18 the Panthers’ way.

Page County, meanwhile, had not won a set for five games.

“We just came out a little flat in the first set, like we usually do, then we came back (in game two) and won. That shows we can do it,” said Stonewall senior Jessica Pechie.

Stonewall's Madison Long knocks down a hit by Page County's Brianna Good during their volleyball match Thursday night in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I told them after the match that I’m their biggest cheerleader. That (game two) showed what we can do. I believe we have talent on this team; I’ve said that all year,” said Stonewall coach Lindsey Dinges.

Stonewall Jackson fell behind in game one 5-0, yet, rather than sulk, the Generals fought their way back.

The homestanding team rebounded from a 6-1 deficit to not only tie the visitors, but go ahead 7-6.

Sophomore Courtney Dellinger was instrumental in the set with four aces in game one. She ended with six for the night. She served only one fault.

“We served well tonight. Everybody did,” said Dinges.

Stonewall's Emily Ball goes up to block a hit by Page County's Brianna Good Thursday night in Quicksburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

Fighting hard to achieve a 9-7 edge, Stonewall plateaued as they fell behind 14-10.

At 18-10, it appeared the Panthers would ride out an easy first game win, but the Generals had other ideas.

They cut the lead to four and then to 21-19 on a Page County error.

That would be their closest until coming alive in game two.

Before the set began, co-captains Pechie and Madison Long (team-high eight kills, four blocks, three aces) chatted briefly after breaking the huddle on the sidelines.

Pechie, Long and Dinges had helped to rally the Generals, and Pechie and Long were making sure they understood one another before the set began.

“We do that to make sure everything is going well on the floor,” said Pechie.

And it worked.

Stonewall showed no side effects from losing its 13th straight set as they

prepared for the second frame.

In game two it appeared the Panthers were coming unglued.

After five early ties, the Generals edged ahead 7-5 on an ace by Long.

They expanded the margin to 4, 7 and then 9 points.

It was on Pechie’s service that Stonewall seemed to score the most points in the 25-11 victory.

But after the 14-point defeat, Page regrouped.

“It wasn’t so much what they did, but what we did,” Dinges said.

Canto three was tied at 5 when the Panthers began to growl.

With Page County senior Laney Corbin (14 kills, seven aces, one block) doing a good deal of damage from the service line, the Panthers’ lead went from 2 to 8 fairly quickly.

After losing to Stonewall 25-11 in the second frame, Page County took game three by a 25-13 advantage.

In game four, Stonewall fell behind 8-4 before a rally gave the Generals a 10-8 lead on a Dellinger ace.

But unforced errors spelled the difference as the Panthers clawed ahead 13-11, never to trail again.

Stonewall got as close as 19-17, but the Panthers held on for the win, 24-18, and the match.

Madison Councill had four kills and an ace for Stonewall. Emily Ball blocked two shots and Israel Blank had four kills, a block and an ace.