MURPHYSBORO — Massac County rallied from a 10-point deficit in the first set with a 19-3 run and closed out the third set with an 8-2 run to remain undefeated in the SIRR Ohio Division after a 25-21, 20-25, 25-20 win over Murphysboro on Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium.

"That was a fantastic match by two fantastic teams," said Massac County coach Zach Miller. "We almost ran out of subs just from going through rotation. Credit to both teams for battling. At the end it came down to a couple close plays and a couple net violations and a couple of double contacts."

Massac County (13-3, 3-0 Ohio) was led by Ellie Weber with 10 kills and Jessie Lewis with eight. Mallorie Harris led the Red Devils with eight kills and Lillie Schaldemose had seven.

Serving was key for both teams, with the Red Devils finishing with 12 aces, including four by Daisy Watkins and three by Drew Stokes, and the Lady Patriots with seven.

The Lady Patriots trailed 13-3 in the first set in part to four unforced errors, but after picking up a point on a Murphysboro bad shot, Bailey Cissell stepped behind the service line to start the rally with five straight points, including two consecutive aces in the middle of the run.

After Schaldemose stopped the run, Aubrey Biggers got it going again with a kill from the left side. This time Bailey Duckworth did the serving and she served up five straight points including an ace to give the Lady Patriots a 15-14 lead.

Murphysboro (8-5, 0-1 Ohio) tied the score on a net serve, but Massac County retook the lead with another bad shot by the Red Devils. Holding an 18-16 lead, Presley Ginger stepped behind the line and she completed the marvelous run with four straight points, including an ace to start her service.

A kill by Cissell gave the Lady Patriots eight set points, but Murphysboro wasn’t ready to give up yet. Kills by Harris and Madison LeBranche along with an ace by Rachel Finders cut the lead to three, but bad passing on the next series ended the rally to hand Massac County the first set, 25-21.

"You won’t beat a good team when you can’t pass well," said Murphysboro coach Mike Layne. "They beat our serve-receive up and our passing in general was not good. We had as many passing errors as we had digs and you’re not going to beat anybody like that, especially a good team like Massac County that’s going to keep it in system and pass the ball very well."

Murphysboro righted its ship in the second set with good serving, including seven aces, three by Stokes, and the hitting of Harris to even the match at a set apiece with a 25-20 win.

Massac County took the early lead in the third set and held onto it until Murphysboro took a 13-12 lead on a bad shot by the Lady Patriots. The score went back and forth until two bad shots by Murphysboro gave the Lady Patriots a 19-18 lead.

With Ginger serving, Weber scoring on dink shots from the right side and the help of two net violations, Massac County took a 23-18 lead. The teams traded points until Lewis laid down a smash from the right side to put the set and the match away, 25-20.


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