Trojans are Ancient History
The third battle with an ancient civilization in less than a week provided intense, focused play, stunning comebacks, tension and a fierceness that exemplified the strength of the Tigers. Beating the Connersville Spartans into submission twice last week was a lead up to a titanic struggle with the Trojans of New Castle. There was no Trojan horse. There were no surprises. They were big, powerful and ready to kick some Tiger tail. With attackers that towered over the home town Tigers, they came to dominate the net and pound the hapless Cats into submission. The Trojans put on a great warm-up show demonstrating their raw power and they certainly won the warm-up exhibition. But they failed to recognize the grit and determination of the Tiger defense. Hard shots were dug up and returned, ultimately frustrating the New Castle bombardiers turning them into manageable tip shot artists. It was an intriguing match-up of contrasting styles, strengths and weaknesses that was totally appreciated by fanatics in the jam-packed Test Fieldhouse. It was epic!
Set one began with very aggressive serving by Trojans. New Castle put seven on the board, Test responded with two. A sideout by the Trojans and they quickly added eight more. The 15-3 lead was not about to be relinquished by the women of Troy. They were swinging the hammer of Thor and had every intention of crushing their helpless opposition. In the end, the Trojans asserted their dominance and prevailed 25-12 and seemed to be in total control.
Game two started the way set one ended. The Trojan’s first server unleashed seven straight points and put the Tigers deep in a hole. It was going to be a rough night for the Tigers. And then the game changed. Back and forth, side out volleyball for five rotations set the score at 13-6. Kara Mullins rotated back to serve and play defense and everything changed. Defense dug balls and attackers got kills. Things were fun, fast and dynamic. Four line shots in a row by Kirsten Urich produced four kills. Setters were getting the ball to the attackers and the results were points. Free ball after free ball was converted to a kill by the scrappy Tigers. When the cloud of dust settled, Mullins had served eight points and put the ferocious Tigers up 15-14. Poor passing was the Achilles heel of the stunned Trojans. If you can’t pass, you can’t hit and hitting was no longer an option. The next rotation put Paighton Morken at the service line and the pressure on New Castle grew immensely. Seven more rockets were fired over the net producing scoring opportunities for the Tigers. Kills came from Sasha Matthews in the middle and Kamryn Wright on the right side. A New Castle time out at 22-15 did nothing to diminish the effectiveness of the Tiger onslaught. Ace, ace, kill and game two belonged to the Tigers 25-15. The coliseum was rockin’ and the Tigers were all over the Trojans.
The showdown that was game three was everything a fan could hope for and the culmination of a coach’s desires. Point for point, every play hard fought, everything earned with nothing given away. The Trojans were clinging to a tenuous 9-8 lead when Taliyah Brewer went back to serve. Four points later, the Tigers were in command 12-10 and the Trojans took a time-out. The fan noise was thunderous, it was difficult to hear in the huddle. The Trojans had their backs against the wall and they were not about to concede. A sideout and two points put New Castle back on top and the noise in the gym was deafening. A kill by Urich evened the score at 13-13 and Kara Mullins stepped back to serve. Point, point and it was over. The Tigers defeated the Trojans 15-13 and the gym erupted. Parents were cheering, Tigers were dancing and Trojans were departing. The Test Tigers are now 11-1 and a date with the Dogs of Dennis lies just around the corner. Great support Test fans! You were AWESOME!