CROSS PLAINS After winning the District 10-A title and the Region 5-A championship the East Robertson volleyball team was just one win away from a state berth.
The only thing standing between the Lady Indians and a trip to Murfreesboro was Loretto, but the experienced Lady Mustangs, who have been to the state tournament six of the last eight years, got the best of East Robertson, winning the match 3-1 in the sectional contest.
“Loretto came in here tonight ready to play and they got the win,” East Robertson coach Clifton Horn said. “I really think that we’re so evenly matched that it would be hard to say who would win if we were to play again.”
Loretto won the first game, but East fought back to win the second to tie the match 1-1, and then jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the third game.
That’s when Loretto’s experience kicked in and the Lady Mustangs began chipping away at the lead and actually got the lead 24-23, but the Lady Indians tied the game and the two went back-and-forth until Loretto pulled out the 30-28 victory, something Horn points to as the turning point in the match.
“Anytime you split the first two games I think the third game is important,” Horn said. “Tonight, because of the way we lost the third game it was more so than usual.
“We had a pretty big lead and then we started to relax and we weren’t as aggressive. They began to chip away and the closer they got the more we started playing like we were down instead of ahead. We had several chances to close it out and because we weren’t able to I think it just took a toll mentally on us.”
The Lady Indians also uncharacteristically had 30 hitting errors, and 10 service errors in the loss.
“We had a great year and I know that our girls are down because I truly believe that we were just as good as Loretto or better,” Horn said. “It’s hard to take right now, but eventually I think they will see that this program has taken another step forward and we have our seniors to thank for that.”