Two heavy hitter volleyball teams met on Tuesday night at Paducah Tilghman High School.
The Lady Tornado hosted the Lady Bombers of Ballard Memorial in a 3-set volleyball match won by the visitors.
One thing that always seems to bode well for the Lady Bombers is their fan section. Not only did the Bombers bring with them a crowd, that crowd brought the noise. The group consisting of family, friends and overall fans of volleyball travels wherever the team does and makes the visiting team seem more like the home team.
That was no different in Tuesday’s game as a field of green formed on the opposite side of the court to cheer on the Lady Bombers.
Set one started off well for the visitors, taking the early lead and building it to as much as six before Tilghman fought back. A tied ball game at 11 started the long back-and-forth between the two teams trading the lead. It wasn’t till the 21-21 point late in the first set that Ballard took over with four straight points to close out the set.
“I told them after the game that there wasn’t a thing that I was mad about this game,” Tilghman head coach Maggie Prewitt said. “We are still playing with mainly six (players) and I throw a libero in there every once in a while.”
The Lady Tornado have battled injuries and COVID-19 quarantine issues the majority of this season but that will never be an excuse for any player or coach of this team. They have still fought with the best of them and hold a record of 12-8 including a 3-1 win over a powerful Marshall County team.
Set two was a Bomber show for the first handful of points, as Ballard scored the first four points and led by as many as six early on. Tilghman would climb back to within two at the 11-9 mark, but the Lady Bombers built their cushion back up and then some to ultimately put the Tornado away 25-17 in the middle set.
“I knew that they (Tilghman) were good enough, capable enough to make a run, I knew they were going to tighten up,” Ballard head coach Adam Solomon said. “They beat Marshall in four, they’ve played with McCracken, but it was good for us to be able to respond to the other team coming back.”
And come back they did. The Lady Tornado knew that set three was the do-or-die set and they came out “doing” early. They scored the first point of the game, bouncing back and forth from leading, to being tied up, to being down one. Unfortunately for Tilghman, a 9-8 lead would be the last one they would see for the remainder of the match as the Bombers slowly started to inch away.
The Lady Tornado had one last fight in them as Ballard rounded the 20-point mark and went on a slight run to keep the set from ending early. A five-point rally would be the last stretch effort for Tilghman, keeping their opponents at 24, but one bad serve would be the saving grace for the Bombers to hit the 25-point mark and stop the Tilghman run.
Leading the way in stats for the Lady Tornado: Helen Allen brought in 16 digs, Emily Shumaker collected 10 digs and eight kills and Lexi Roof helped with 17 assists.
On the Bomber side of the ball Izzy Myers had a triple-double kind of night with 13 kills, 18 assists and 18 digs. Bailey Lee collected 16 kills to go along with 11 digs while Kylee Bodell contributed another 14 digs.