The first set began with plenty of intensity. Both sides were ready for their opponent, and it reflected in the knotted score early.
Greencastle was dominant on the service, forcing Clover errors and mixing in aces. Cloverdale was the better of the two teams following a set, blasting the ball into the Tiger Cub half and racking up their points the hard way.
"When we hit well, we usually score. When we're on, we play very well. I have one of my best scrappy teams I've ever had here and they are not quitters. We're a well balanced team, but certainly our hitters are our great offensive players."
But as the set wore on, the Tiger Cubs began seeing more of their attempts fall between Clover players, and in some cases just inside of the lines. Just when it seemed over at 20-15, Cloverdale went on a 6-1 run to pull even at 21. The two teams fought it out, and even played a little bonus volleyball for the fans, before two Greencastle attacking errors handed the first set victory to the Clovers at 29-27.
In the second set, the intense atmosphere continued on as disagreements between fans and officials echoed throughout the Cloverdale gym. In the melee, the Clovers sprung out to an early 5-1 lead. Their advantage would hover between 3-5 points until Greencastle pulled even at 15, forcing a Clover timeout.
Out of the timeout, Cloverdale rattled off four straight points, but Greencastle answered with a 4-0 run of their own. Cloverdale surged to go on another run, this one putting them up 23-20, but again Greencastle was there to answer, eventually taking the lead out of a Clover timeout.
The fans were again given a thrilling end the sides battled one another to see who could reach the up-by-two mark first. The 27-25 victory would again go to the home side, putting them up two games to zero.
"The last two weeks we've had six matches with long road trips and sick kids. It's been really taxing but the kids have persevered and really fought through all of that adversity," CHS coach Kathy Moore said.
The third set between the squads was more of the same. Cloverdale opened up a 3-0 lead and it appeared the final nail was ready to be driven into the coffin of the Tiger Cubs.
Coach Spencer's ladies were not willing to call it quits just yet, and their 7-0 statement run proved it. As if on cue, a 6-2 run from the home side tied things at 9-all. Cloverdale rattled off 10 of the next 12 points, and finished the set on a 15-7 run, winning 25-16 and securing the 3-0 match sweep.
"It was a hard fought game, but we have these games a lot. I want to give Greencastle a lot of credit...They did a really great job. It was fun, it was close, it could've gone either way. There are no easy games coming up, they're all going to be difficult."
Bradanne Toney lead the way for the Clovers in kills (13), points (13), digs (16), and blocks (3). Mariah Oetken had seven kills, and Bristy Skiles had 26 assists and seven points.
In junior varsity action, the Clover's squad took down the Tiger Cubs two sets to none (25-23, 25-20). Neither team was particularly sharp, but Cloverdale managed to turn quick starts in each set into a match victory.
Tiger Cubs 27-25-16 (0)
Clovers 29-27-25 (3)