Girls Volleyball

JB volleyball falls in quarterfinal heartbreaker to N. Lebanon

FREDERICKSBURG — James Buchanan thought it had finally clinched a victory in a wild and crazy District 3 Class 3A quarterfinal volleyball match Thursday night.

Having split the first four sets with Northern Lebanon, the teams kept battling in the fifth set. Ahead 16-15, the Rockets thought they had ended the match with a point and left the court celebrating.

However, a late call for a net violation gave the Vikings new life and they ended up defeating JB 20-18 for a 3-2 victory.

“I thought we had it,” JB coach Erica Piper said. “One minute we are all celebrating the win, and the next we being called in the net. It just hurts knowing we felt we had the match won.”

No. 5 seed James Buchanan’s season ended with an 18-3 record. No. 4 Northern Lebanon (16-0) will travel to top seed Greencastle (18-0) for a semifinal match at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Rockets won the first game 25-18, then NL took the second, 25-21. JB went ahead again with a 25-23 win, but the Vikings squeezed out a 27-25 win to make it 2-2.

In the third set, the Rockets trailed 23-17, but mounted a comeback and the scored the final eight points to capture the win. In the fourth, James Buchanan had two chances to end the match, leading 24-22 and 25-24, but could not close the Vikings out.

Piper said, “This was a great match and great atmosphere tonight. My heart goes out to these girls. They played an amazing match and deserved to win. I thought Campbelle Dayley, Mackenzie Stoner and Kaleigh Hartman really controlled the net. In a match like this it comes down to one or two points and they didn’t go our way tonight.”

In the deciding fifth game, James Buchanan had its back to the wall, trailing 14-12, but the Rockets scored four of the next five points to take the 16-15 lead.

“This group of seniors — Dayley, Stoner, Hartman, Macy Mummert and Sage Bradshaw — have given us some amazing memories the last four years and played some incredible volleyball,” Piper said. “You couldn’t have asked much more from them or this team. Because of that, this one is tough to swallow.”