By DAN SHELTON
ROACHDALE -- The Lady Cougars' volleyball match with Bethesda Christian Tuesday night can be summed up in one phrase -- a beautiful nightmare.
The Cougars lost the match 3-2 after taking a 2-0 lead, but in the midst of tough defeat the Cougars found themselves doing something beautiful.
"We thought we had it," NPHS Coach Jill Schreiber said. "For the first time this year, we were overconfident."
In the first two sets, North Putnam took control and won both sets 25-20 but let their guard down in set three.
The Lady Warriors came out swinging in the third set, building a 16-8 lead. But the Lady Cougars fought back, going on a 13-4 run, and took a 21-20 lead thanks to some precision killing from Carlye McGaughey and Paxton Stephenson. North Putnam even had them on the ropes at 24-23, but a missed serve by Megan Gray followed by an ace and a kill kept the Lady Warriors in the match.
Bethesda Christian took control early in the fourth set and won 25-20 and the final set went to extra points, with North Putnam scrapping for everything they could. Battling back from a 7-3 deficit to take a 9-8 lead. But the Lady Warriors came out on top, winning 17-15.
"We have actually started to do different things in practice and incorporate them into our matches," Schreiber said. "I was subbing the girls so much that they really never could get into a rhythm. I mean I reached my limit of 18 subs in the third set.
"I thought we played well. Our setters were trying to do quick sets and they were just going a little high," Schreiber said. "Yes I thought the girls could have played better, but they were doing things that we were doing in practice and they've never done that before."
Schreiber continued to praise her team for the accomplishments they did Tuesday night.
"We are actually running the little things from practice in the games and I'm proud of them for doing that," Schreiber said. "I told the girls if they had played the entire match like they did the last three points of the match, we would have won."
Three individuals led the Cougars Tuesday night. Stephenson finished the night with nine kills and two stuff blocks while McGaughey finished with six kills. Grey had three aces serving.
The Cougars will be back in action on Thursday when they host Cloverdale at 4:30 p.m.
At North Putnam
Bethesda Christian -- 20 20 26 25 17
North Putnam 25 25 24 20 15
Next match -- The Cougars will be back in action on Thursday when they host Cloverdale at 4:30 p.m.