On the heels of a disappointing five- game loss to Sullivan East in non-conference play on Monday, Central came out a bit flat and lost the first game to Daniel Boone. But the Lady Cougars built some momentum and rallied to win 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-10 to remain unbeaten in Big 8 Conference play.
Amber Alvis came up huge for the Lady Cougars, hammering home 18 kills to go along with 12 digs to help her team rebound after falling behind 20-9 in Game 1.
“I felt like Boone came out really aggressive the first game and I felt like we had a little bit of carryover from last night,” Central coach Tracy Graybeal said. “As the first game went on, I thought we started to get momentum. Then I felt like we built on it as the night went on.
“We started out really flat and kind of non-aggressive, but (we) turned it around, and I’m proud of the effort today. A win’s a win.”
The Lady Cougars very nearly dug out of a huge deficit to steal the first game, scoring 14 of 18 points to pull within a single point late in the game. But after surviving four game points, the Lady Cougars dropped a long volley to Boone to fall into a 1-0 hole.
The Lady Trailblazers were unable to capitalize, however, dropping the next three games as Central picked up a head of steam. The Lady Cougars slowly but surely became more fluid on offense, more tenacious on defense and Boone (1-3, 0-1) didn’t have an answer.
By Game 4, Central was firing on all cylinders and closed out the match after building a commanding 23-9 lead.
“I felt like we carried momentum from the first game to the second game, and in the third and fourth games, I felt like we really turned it on,” Graybeal said.
Madi Phillippie did a masterful job of running Central’s offense, dishing out 39 assists to go with 14 digs. Savannah Benton slammed 12 kills for the Lady Cougars (4-1, 3-0) while Amber Harr had 16 digs and Nikki Cotter added nine kills.
Graybeal was pleased with the way her team responded to adversity Tuesday. After a fast start on Monday, the Lady Cougars lost three straight games in the loss to East. One night later, they shook off a slow start and never ceded control once they seized it.
“I felt like that was the difference with us tonight,” Graybeal said. “We came out and won the first two games last night. Tonight, as we played more, we got looser and looser.”
Central next faces David Crockett on Thursday night. Boone takes on Gate City tonight.