YORK — The final game of the Crossroads Conference Tournament on Saturday at the York City Auditorium lived up to expectations as the No. 9 seed High Plains Storm and the No. 8 seed Cross County Cougars battled for the right to play another day.
Cross County jumped to a 2-0 lead with wins of 25-22 and 25-19, but the Storm answered in game three, 25-22, and in the fourth set led late 21-19.
But the Cougars were able to pull out the win with a 26-24 final in set four to move to the next round.
In other games on Saturday, Shelby/Rising City, the No. 6 seed, made quick work of the McCool Junction Mustangs (0-24), 25-11, 25-14, 25-10.
In the sandwich game on Saturday, the Meridian Mustangs (10-11) and the No. 7 seed, defeated the Dorchester Longhorns (3-20) in three straight, 25-19, 25-12, 25-13.
The first game in the Storm and Cougar match-up see-sawed back and forth as both teams led at one point or another. Cross County tied its biggest lead of the night when junior setter Morgan Mickey was able to tip the ball past two Storm's defenders. With that kill the Cougars won the first game 25-22.
High Plains had a great chance to get the first set leading 11-6, but the Cougars went on a 10-4 run to take a 16-15 lead and the first game stayed close to the end.
It was just as close if not closer in the second set as High Plains led by as many as three points at 6-3 and 8-5. With the score tied at 15-15, the Cougars got a kill from Michelle Klein to push the cushion to 18-15.
High Plains got the Cross County lead down to two points, but the Cougars closed the set on a 6-2 run.
High Plains was able to get the third set, but again both teams had their chances. The Storm led by five at 11-6, but the Cougars were relentless as they pulled to within 18-17, took a 21-19 lead and seemed to have the match and momentum within their grasp.
High Plains tied the set at 21-21 and with the Storm up 23-22, back-to-back kills from Allie Hogan and Megan Fitzgerald kept High Plains' chances alive.
With High Plains on top 4-2, the next 14 straight points came on mistakes.
Cross County led 9-7, 13-10 and 17-15, before a wide attack on the Cougars' tied the score at 18-18.
The set was tied four times once the teams got past 20 points, but a net return and kill from Taylor Nienhueser ended the match with the Cougars winning 3-1.
Cross County was led in kills by Brooke Anderson with 11. Klein had seven and Ninehueser was charted with five. As a team the Cross County girls had 38 kills, two ace blocks and four ace serves.
High Plains slammed 39 team kills as Morgan VanHousen led the way with 11, Hogan and Rachel Beck had eight apiece while Fitzgerald added seven. The Storm had five ace blocks, two from Danielle Shenk and five from Lindy Eberle.
Shelby Rising City over McCool Junction
The Huskies held the Mustangs to just five team kills as Ashley Barker-Chandler led the Mustangs with two. The only ace serves for the McCool Junction girls came from Tyra Johnson and Alecia Mertz.
S/RC was led in kills by Jessica Nekl with eight and Bayle Scow with five. As a team the Huskies had 25 team kills and nine girls contributed to that number. The Huskies got a pair of ace blocks from Nekl and had 18 ace serves in the win, led by four each from Kylee Macken and Shaelyn Voss.
Meridian over Dorchester
The front line of the Meridian Mustangs finally wore down the Dorchester Longhorns as the Meridian girls had 38 team kills and were led in double numbers by Blair Hofstetter with 16 and Desiree Bartels with 10. The Mustangs recorded eight ace serves with Hofstetter leading the way with three.
Dorchester, which kept it close early, had eight of its 15 team kills in the first set. The leader on the team was Brooke Zoubek with five. The only ace block was also recorded by Zoubek and the Longhorns did not have an ace serve.