Eagles drop sectional opener
LIZTON -- The South Putnam volleyball team's season ended with a loss to Tri-West in sectional action Tuesday, but the Eagles didn't go down without a fight.
SPHS lost the match in three games, 22-25, 20-25, 18-25.
South Putnam never led in the match's opening game, but they were able to keep the contest with the Bruins close. Tri-West jumped out to a 3-0 lead before a kill from Shelby Johnston put the Eagles on the board.
The Bruins scored five straight points, though, starting with a kill from Mackenzie Stirling. Another Stirling kill ended the Tri-West run, and the Bruins were ahead 8-1.
SPHS regained possession after the Bruins hit the ball out of bounds to make the score 8-2 and then took advantage of another Tri-West error to score its third point.
Back-to-back aces from Kaitlyn Hammond made it an 8-5 game.
Next, the Bruins tipped the ball out of bounds again, and C.J. Searles came through with a kill to bring the Eagles to within one.
SPHS hit the ball into the net on the next serve, returning possession to the Bruins, who went on to score 11 of the next 18 points.
Trailing 20-13, South Putnam took advantage of a Tri-West error, and Searles scored on two consecutive kills. The Eagles also benefited from two straight errors from the Bruins to pull within two, 20-18.
Tri-West built a 24-20 lead, but South Putnam kept the Bruins at bay with two more kills from Searles and another Tri-West error to make the score 24-22.
But the Bruins' Kaylee Shaw landed a kill that landed on the left corner of the Eagles' territory, putting the first game in the books.
The second game saw South Putnam holding the lead through much of the early-going, building a 9-7 lead over the Bruins at one point.
But Tri-West fought back, taking an 11-10 lead on an ace from Lydia MacKinnon.
The Bruins would retain their lead throughout the game, although the Eagles made it another close one.
South Putnam trailed 20-16 when the Bruins' Lacie Woodall served the ball out of bounds to return possession to the Eagles.
SPHS took advantage of two consecutive Tri-West errors to pull within one at 20-19, but the Eagles were called for a four-hit violation, giving the Bruins a two-point lead.
Tri-West surrendered just one more point in the game en route to a 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
South Putnam led twice in the third and final game, but they weren't able to force a fourth game.
The Eagles said goodbye to three seniors with Tuesday's loss.
Hammond, Hannah Ames and Searles all played their final games in a South Putnam uniform.
South Putnam 22 20 18
Tri-West 25 25 25
SPHS ended the season 11-17