The McDowell Lady Titans volleyball team had a lot on the line Wednesday in its regular-season finale.
Unfortunately, the South Caldwell Lady Spartans played the role of spoiler, overcoming an early two-game deficit to beat McDowell in five games on senior night.
The loss prevents McDowell from taking the outright 4A State Playoff berth that was on the line as they fell into a tie with South, the league’s other 4A team. Both teams went 4-10 in league play. The setback also prevents the Lady Titans (10-12) from finishing the season at the .500 mark.
Both of the two games McDowell won were very competitive. They overcame a deficit in the first to win 25-20 and a Zoe Vance (8 kills, 4 blocks) spike down the middle capped a late rally to win the second 26-24.
Starting in the third the Lady Spartans began to capitalize on spacing issues and found holes in the defense to score points.
South won the third 25-19 after getting off to a fast start, and then a 27-25 rally in the fourth evened the match. And from there the visitors rode the momentum to a 15-11 win in the fifth and decisive game to cap the comeback.
Jada Cannon tallied 14 kills and five digs. Jessica Cannon added seven kills and Emily Register (4 blocks) tallied six kills.
Lucy Hames (10 digs) recorded eight assists in the match. Makenna Parkins had three kills.
Among the seniors on the roster, Laynie Hudgins had 12 assists, four kills and one service ace.
Kirsten Melvin finished with 24 digs, Eavan Smith (1 kill) blocked four shots and Nicole Gallion tallied nine digs.
The opening round of the 4A State volleyball tournament begins on Oct. 23. As of Thursday, the tiebreaker procedure was not known.