Ahead of Central High School volleyball's match against Oakland on Monday, September 9, the team had not yet lost a set at home in the 2019 season. The Lady Patriots forced a fourth set, but the Lady Raiders survived for a 3-1 match win.
"Oakland's got a good team, they're well-coached," Coach Andrew Taylor said. "Any time you can win one against someone from the 'Boro it's good."
The Lady Raiders had to fight for leads throughout the match, with the third set the only one Oakland was able to control.
"Kind of let the third set get away from us, they got a little momentum going and it just turned into a dogfight," Taylor explained. "For a Monday match, considering who we're playing, very happy."
The Lady Patriots opened the first set with a 5-2 lead before CHS hit three straight to tie it. Neither team got the edge on the other until the Lady Raiders led 13-12. From this point on, CHS outscored Oakland 12-6 to win the first set 25-18.
The second set saw the Lady Raiders surrender their own 5-2 lead early as the Lady Patriots climbed back. Another close one followed with Oakland at a slight advantage for a long stretch. Tied at 19, CHS pushed away off six straight points for a 25-19 set victory.
The Lady Raiders ran into trouble in the third set. Tied at seven, CHS fell into a 7-15 hole to the Lady Patriots. The girls were unable to cut the Oakland lead to below four and dropped the third set 18-25.
The gloves came off in the fourth set as both teams traded leads over its course. With the Lady Raiders up 18-13, Oakland jumped back in and forced a tie at 20 before taking a two-point lead.
CHS was later down 24-25 and needed a point to prevent a fifth set. On the next play, a shot from Lexi Bryan forced the tiebreaker to continue. Bryan then hit another to make it 26-26. Tied at 27 after a return from Kiya Ferrell went out of bounds, an Oakland shot went into the net to give the Lady Raiders the advantage. Ferrell then delivered the final blow on the next play to secure a 29-27 set win and take the match.
"I just knew I needed to snap my wrist unlike I did on the one before," Ferrell said. "I was just really trying to focus on that to get it in the court."
Ferrell led the Lady Raiders in kills and digs with 12 and 19, respectively. Bryan recorded five of the team's 10 aces. Keelie Hillis had 15 assists, just ahead of Amanda Mukai's 14.