Lady Titans hold off Freedom in 5-set battle

McDowell Lady Titans (from left) Emily Register, Jada Cannon, Makenna Parkins, Jessica Cannon and Eavan Smith celebrate after winning a crucial point in Thursday's 3-2 win over Freedom. Josh Davis/blueridgesportsphotography.com

For the first time in the 2018 season, the McDowell Lady Titans volleyball team found themselves being pushed to the limit.

Overcoming six different match points, the Lady Titans mounted a furious rally on Thursday evening, beating the Freedom Lady Patriots in a five-game classic at Titan Gym.

The miraculous win extends McDowell’s current winning streak to five straight and two in a row in league play. Now at 8-4 on the season, the Lady Titans also pull even in the Northwestern Conference race at 2-2.

This match had the makings of a close battle between the two rival programs and it lived up to its billing and more.

The first two games were very tight as McDowell won the first at 25-23 only for Freedom to return the favor in the second winning by the same exact margin.

The Lady Patriots kept the momentum going by winning the third game 25-19. Down 2-1 in the match the Lady Titans responded with a win in the fourth 25-19 to force a deciding fifth game.

In the finale it was Freedom who jumped out to an 8-2 lead and had a 14-8 advantage, just a point away from victory.

It was at this juncture where McDowell bowed up and scored the next six points, pulling back even. Both teams were tied at both 15-15 and 18-18 when the Lady Titans broke through with the last two points of the match to win the fifth 20-18.

Makenna Parkins (3 aces) recorded a team-high 13 kills. Zoe Vance had six kills at middle hitter. Sophomores Jessica Cannon (8 digs) and Jada Cannon had five kills on the outside and Eavan Smith, along with Emily Register, finished with four kills each.

Kirsten Melvin (3 aces) recorded 23 digs for McDowell along with three kills from Clementine Miller. Laynie Hudgins served three aces in the match.

McDowell returns to action on Monday at Hickory.

 

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