GREENCASTLE -- In front of a fan base that could easily rival any sectional crowd, the Lady Tiger Cubs upset the South Putnam volleyball squad three sets to two, reclaiming what they lost at the county tournament -- the paddle.
"That was probably the best five-set match we have played all season," GHS coach Trish Lowe said. "You couldn't ask for a better night. I'm so proud of our community for coming out and supporting this cause."
The cause the Lowe was talking about was the fight against Breast Cancer. Greencastle's match Thursday with South Putnam was dubbed the "Attack for a Cure" and the Lady Tiger Cubs took the phrase literally. Greencastle tallied 48 kills with Hanna Cochran leading the way with 22. Cochran, who usually plays middle hitter, made the transition to outside hitter and wreaked havoc on the Eagles defense.
"I wasn't happy with my outside player and the way she was performing, so I moved Hanna there and she played like she knew what she was doing," Lowe said.
It was Cochran who helped rally the Tiger Cubs back in game two, that evened the series at 1-1. The Eagles were up 18-16 in the second set, rolling on a 5-0 run, looking to close out and take a 2-0 lead; but it didn't happen.
Kayla Nobles broke the Eagles' scoring streak with a kill, then Cochran came in, landing back-to-back kills, fueling a 6-0 Tiger Cub run. South Putnam tried to rally back, but every time they did, Cochran was there to put the ball back on their side of the floor, giving Greencastle the 25-20 win.
"Cochran did a great job tonight," Lowe said.
But even with Cochran pounding the ball into the floor, neither team could win two sets in a row.
In the third set, both teams went back and forth exchanging point run for point run and it came down to who ever could score the last two points for the win. It was South Putnam who caught the break when Cochran served the ball into the net, giving the Eagles set point, 25-23 and a 2-1 set lead.
The Eagles took their momentum from the third set and poured it into the fourth one, jumping out 7-2 lead thanks to Brooke Boetjer who lit up the Tiger Cubs defense with kill after kill.
The Eagles continued to punish the Tiger Cubs and eventually built their lead to 18-15, but Greencastle answered back with a 4-0 run thanks to two kills by Cochran and an ace from Jordyn Lewis. They took a 19-18 lead over the 2009 Putnam County Champions. The Eagles continued to fight the Tiger Cubs, but Cochran's energy was contagious as Braden Amis stepped up and led the charge in Greencastle's final run of the set, giving them the edge they needed for the 25-22 win.
With the match tied 2-all, it came down to the team that was the hungriest -- that team was Greencastle.
The Eagles started the set with an ace from Ashley Wombles, which was only the beginning of one of the biggest nail biting sets of the season.
Greencastle answered back with 6-2 run with Chelsea Samuels knocking down three kills, taking a 6-3 lead, but the Eagles answered back with five unanswered points retaking the lead at 8-6.
Greencastle answered back with four unanswered points of its own, taking a 10-8 lead. South Putnam tried to rally back, but could only score three more points, and Greencastle won the set 15-11 and the match 3-2
"This was great turnout for a great cause tonight," SPHS coach Lindsey Blackman said. "This is the most people we have had out at one of our matches and it was great that the Greencastle coaches reached out to us to do this.
"But in the end it was Greencastle that wanted it more," Blackman added. "They made the hustle plays when they needed to. They wanted it and they got it."
Along with Cochran, Samuels finished the night with 14 kills while Lewis chipped in 25 service points. Defensively, it was Amis who led the team with 15 blocks while Kayla Nobles collected 52 digs with Kandice Phillips chipping in 31 digs and 39 assists.
For South Putnam, Boetjer led the offense with 12 kills, while Katelyn Sibbitt had 11 kills and Leanna Masters had 10 kills. Rachel Egold also had eight kills and six points while Taylor Goss had 21 points.
Defensively Ashley Wombles led the team with 11 blocks, while Boetjer had seven blocks and Masters had three blocks.
South Putnam is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Cascade at 6 p.m. while Greencastle hosts Owen Valley on Monday at 6 p.m.
Greencastle 24 25 23 25 15
South Putnam 26 20 25 22 11
Kills -- Nobles 5, Lewis 2, Bennett 2, Phillips 5m Samuels 14, Amis 12, Cochran 22, Boetjer 12, Wombles 9, Sibbitt 11, Egold 8, Masters 10
Blocks -- Samuels 12, Amis 15, Cochran 6, Wombles 11, Bojter 7, Masters 3
Digs -- Nobles 52, Birt 16, Lewis 33, Bennett 11, Phllips 31, Samuels 49, Amis 6, Buckner 6, R. Amis 2, Cochran 6, Boetjer 5, Sibbitt 9, Egold 12, Goss 12, Dabkowski 9
Next match -- South Putnam is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Cascade at 6 p.m. while Greencastle hosts Owen Valley on Monday at 6 p.m.