SOUTH WHITLEY -- Thursday night’s away game was expected to be an easy win for the Manchester Squires.
After a blow out game earlier this season, the Squires traveled into South Whitley and anticipated the same outcome.
But Whitko had no part of that. The Lady Wildcats were not going down without a fight but lost in four games 3-1.
After quick losses in the first two games, it appeared the Squires were about to mirror their previous encounter.
Manchester’s frontline pounded and slammed the ball in on the Lady Wildcats and gave them no chance of returning the ball.
Net serves also plagued Whitko, causing them to give up easy points.
“Our serving could be more effective,” Whitko Head Coach Doug West said.
The scores of the first to matches were nearly the same, 25-19 and 25-18.
Whitko knew it needed to step up its game, or else it’d lose the whole match.
“I think we went in the huddle saying, “We’re going to keep this crowd here, we’re going to go to game five,” West said.
The third match kicked off with the Lady Wildcats matching the Squires nearly point for point. Manchester couldn’t pick up more than a three-point lead for the entire match, as opposed to the 10 and 11-point leads in the first two matches.
The Lady Squires finished the match with mistake after mistake and hit the ball in the net or out of bounds.
Something had Manchester shaken up. Perhaps, Whitko senior Rachelle Kessie had something to do with that.
Kessie posted 10 kills and five blocks for the night and picked much of them up in the third game.
“She did a nice job, she’s a great net player for us. We get a lot of confidence and energy when she’s going across the front row,” West noted.
Kessie had three spikes at the end of the third match and pulled the Lady Wildcats out on top and and gave them a 25-19 win.
The fourth game began with a fired up Whitko team. The Lady ’Cats jumped out with three quick unanswered points.
“Whitko played a heck of a defense tonight, they did a great job,” said Manchester head coach Sarah Lochner.
Kessie, along with the help of her teammates continued to pound the ball at Manchester, picking up more blocks and kills and bringing the Lady ’Cats to a quick 8-3 lead.
“We had to make some adjustments, she (Kessie) outreaches everyone on our team, so it took us awhile to make that adjustment,” Lochner said.
Unfortunately for Whitko, Manchester was able to adjust too soon and the Lady Squires regained their lead by taking seven unanswered points.
Manchester out scored the Lady Wildcats 22-8 for the rest of the match, leaving the final score at 25-16.
Meghan Peters was a big help to the Lady ’Cats, adding 20 assists and two aces.
Nearly everyone on the court picked up digs, with Stephanie Camden getting 31 digs and Sammy Klerner not far behind with 15.
The Lady ’Cats will get another chance at a conference win Monday when they host Rochester.