GREENCASTLE --SPHS volleyball coach Lindsey Blackman knew that her Eagles had a fight on their hands when the No. 10 ranked Covenant Christian came to town -- too bad no one told the Warriors they would have a fight on their hands.
The Warriors beat South Putnam in three sets, but it wasn't an easy task.
In the first set, the Eagles were down 18-11 at one point and battled back to knot the score at 21-all thanks to some decisive killing from Brooke Boetjer, Katelyn Sibbitt and Ashley Wombles.
The Warriors eventually won the set 25-21, but would have an even harder time with the next two sets.
South Putnam forced the next two sets to go extra points, and they even had the Warriors on the ropes in the last two sets.
In the second set, the Eagles were leading 24-22 and sitting at set point thanks to a couple of strategic kills from Wombles and Rachel Egold, but it wasn't enough. Covenant Christian's Kim Smith, who was a thorn in the Eagles' side all night, nailed a kill to tie the game. She then got another one, giving the Warriors a 26-25 lead and then a side out point gave Covenant Christian the win.
In the third set, the Eagles battled even harder and built a 13-8 lead over the Warriors and maintained that lead until the 17-12 mark, when Smith sparked the Warriors offense, leading them on a 6-0 run to take a 19-18 lead.
The Warriors continued to pound the ball and built their lead to five at 23-18, but the Eagles never quit.
After a couple of service points and kills from Leanna Masters, South Putnam was ahead 24-23. But Smith and the Warriors were too strong, defeating the Eagles 26-24.
"I told the girls to keep their heads up," Blackman said. "I didn't tell the girls before the match that they (Covenant Christian) was ranked 10th in class 2A. So for them to play them this close, they have nothing to be ashamed of."
Blackman admitted that Smith was a formidable player and that she caused the Eagles some problems, but also said that it was beneficial.
"It was kind of like we tried to beat the other players on the team and just let her get her points," Blackman said. "But when you play a player like her, it helps builds your confidence for future games and we will see some talent this weekend in the Sullivan tournament."
On the night, Sibbitt had one kill and three aces while Emily Dabkowski had three kills and one ace and Rachel Egold had one kill. Wombles had three aces, four kills and two blocks while Boetjer had six kills. Masters finished the night with three kills and Taylor Goss had one ace.
In Monday's game against Southmont, the Eagles came out victorious, winning in five sets, 25-23, 17-25, 25-22, 12-25, 15-12.
Dabkowski led the team with 12 digs, six blocks and 24 assists while Taylor Goss and Brenly Bratcher had 11 digs. Sibbitt had 10 digs on the night while Boetjer had 15 kills and Wombles had eight blocks.
South Putnam is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Sullivan for a Tournament.
At South Putnam
Covenant Christian 25 27 26
South Putnam 21 25 24
Next Match -- South Putnam is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Sullivan for a Tournament.