Pontotoc edges Blue Devils in five sets

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018

WATER VALLEY — Water Valley is not scared.

In two of their first four games of the season, the Blue Devils have played against a playoff-caliber team and competed against them.

Last year, the team would play against the Corinth’s and Pontotoc’s of the world and be in and out of the gym in about an hour.

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This year’s Water Valley squad is different, and the Lady Blue Devils proved as much in their 3-2 (12-25, 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 8-15) loss to Pontotoc inside the Water Valley High School multi-purpose building on Tuesday.

“They found our weaknesses,” Water Valley head coach Allison McCain said. “Good teams like that are going to find our weaknesses, and we can compete with them, obviously. But we’ve got to compete from the beginning. We can’t wait until the third (set).”

The start of the match did not give the indication it would go the distance, with the Warriors (5-2) winning the opening set with ease, using a 15-3 run to close it out.

Set two was more competitive with Water Valley (2-2) and Pontotoc trading the lead, along with 14 ties. However, the Warriors snagged the win, taking a 2-0 lead over Water Valley.

The Blue Devils slowly worked the match’s momentum to their side and took control midway through the third set.

With the score tied at 13-all, Water Valley used a 12-5 run to earn their first point of the match.

With that set win, the Blue Devils forced a fourth set, holding off a late surge from Pontotoc to tie the match at 2-2.

In the game-deciding set, Pontotoc took the edge, holding Water Valley to eight points in the match.

“They’re fight was there,” McCain said of her team. “They went from being relaxed to being ‘we’ve got to push through this. We’ve got to compete.’ They knew that they had to work harder than normal to compete. …We stick with the good competition. The girls are pushing their butts and working hard. I wouldn’t say we’re just sitting back and letting them walk all over us. We’re fighting.”

Water Valley’s Lillian Lindsay led the team with 17 kills to go with three assists, and Laury Beth Hamilton had a team-high four digs.

The Blue Devils wrap up their three-game homestand on Thursday with a match against region foe M.S. Palmer while Pontotoc travels to Lafayette on Thursday.

Thursday’s game will be the Class II-Region 4 opener for both the Commodores and the Warriors.