After a bit of a shaky early-part of the week, the Eads Lady Eagles Volleyball team put together a honey of a game among Homecoming craziness and came away with a 3-1 win over conference foe, Cheyenne Wells. The win over the Tigers placed Eads in a three-way tie between McClave, Eads, and Cheyenne Wells for second place. Of course, the undefeated Kit Carson group will be the solid #1 seed in the upcoming District 2 Tournament to be played at the LCC Wellness Center on Friday.
Based on their win-loss records, McClave will be seeded #2 in the District 2 Tournament bracket, while Eads will have to settle for the #3 seed. The two teams will battle, along with #5 Cheraw, in Pool B of the tournament on Friday. Eads will play the second game of the pool play that gets underway at 9:30 am. They will play Cheraw, a game they have to win, and then set their sights on McClave. The top two teams come out of the pool in the place they earn. The #2 teams out of each pool will face off to grab the third place regional advancer position.
The Lady Eagles spent much of the early part of the week on the road as they traveled to Siebert on a rare Monday for a non-conference game with Flagler/Hi-Plains. Eads didn’t play their best and would lose in three quick matches, 17-25, 22-25, and 20-25. They then traveled to Granada on Tuesday for a very important conference match that Eads had to win. They took care of business, but not without a little hiccup, winning 3-1 in sets of 25-10, 27-25, 21-25, and 25-13. And by Friday, the Lady Eagles was facing their third match up of the week in a contest they had to win against Cheyenne Wells. They would win 3-1 in games of 25-8, 25-23, 20-25, and 25-12 forcing the three-way tie.
The Eads girls came out on fire in Granada, particularly in their front rotation. With senior Mariah Smith and Brenna Rouse in the front row and Mindi Uhland serving on the back line, Eads jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first service from Uhland. The senior would hit 2 straight ace serves forcing an early Bobcat timeout. The Eads setters would find the hot hand of Rouse from the outside time and again, effectively giving Granada no chance to come back into the game. Eads let up in the second match after such a strong success as their focus was not the same and Granada played them even for most of the game. Again, it would be Uhland’s serving that helped the situation. With Lauren Brown serving the Lady Eagles used the strong middle hitting play of Brooklynn Jones to finish Granada off in set 2. But in the third set, Eads fell asleep and allowed a feisty Bobcat group to hang around until they finally inched out the win with Smith still sitting on the bench waiting to come in. But game 4 was all Eads as they knew even one loss to Granada was unacceptable at this point in the season. Eads would come roaring back with three servers, Uhland, Smith, and Brown getting the bulk of the service points.
Cheyenne Wells is a tall group but really has one player, junior Kaci Chadwick, who can score virtually at will. She would be a problem for Eads during Friday night’s game every time the Lady Eagles lost sight of her. When they controlled Chadwick, they controlled the Tigers. The first set was all Eads as they won 25-8 behind some extremely good hitting from Rouse from the outside. Smith was a force on the block and her challenge to the Tiger hitters paid off in the first set. Rouse and Libero Lauren Spady led on the service line in the first set.
Cheyenne Wells came alive in set two as the two teams played back and forth for dominance. Eads would finally make their move leading 18-16 and would never look back controlling the narrative with Emily Gyurman’s effective serve causing havoc for the Tigers. Her ace serve at 24 seemed to take the air out of the Tigers who was tied with Eads to that point. Leading two sets to none, Eads came out somewhat tentative into set three. They would stop hitting hard at the C-Dub group and that allowed the Tigers to easily set up Chadwick who, at one point in the third set, got eight kills down, in as many possessions. The Eagles would battle and it looked like they might come back into the game as Gyurman, again, rattled off a string of service points including two more aces. But when Eads’ front row moved to the bench on the rotation, the Tigers took advantage and finished the set.
It would take the explosive play of Brooklynn Jones in the middle that would be the difference in the match. In game 4, Chadwick was causing problems once again for the Eagles, particularly in the first rotation when Smith and Rouse went out. But by the second and third rotations, Jones had had enough and took matters into her own hands. She would have five kills in the later stages of the game as Spady dug up hit after hit. The young Spady, Ally, came in at the setter position and sparked Eads with her quickness and court IQ. With Smith on the back line serving and Jones on the front line, Eads pulled off the big win.
The Eads JV group finished off their season over the week, as well. They would defeat Granada 25-17 and 25-11. Morgyn Johnson led the way on the service line and in attacks. Ally Spady, too, was tough on the service line and setting to the Eads hitters. But Eads would lose to the Tiger JV group, 19-25 and 22-25.