RAVENSWOOD - After Tuesday night, Ripley High School now has possession of both symbols of county high school sports superiority.
The Vikings won The Hatchet last year at Flinn Field. The Lady Viking volleyball team (17-17) claimed "The Net" Tuesday night in a knock down, drag out, five-game match worthy of the cross-county sports rivalry—and then some.
It was a classic struggle with neither volleyball team asking quarter or giving any before a packed RvHS new gym. And when the last serve, the last volley, the last pass, the last spike, the last momentum swing and the last fingernail had been chewed down to the quick, the Lady Vikings had prevailed 25-13, 12-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-11.
Yet even the final tiebreaker saw the momentum pendulum swing several times. Ripley led 6-1. The Ravenswood (19-18 on the season) rallied to lead 10-6. Then Ripley finally prevailed scoring nine of the final 10 points for the win.
The Lady Vikings dominated the opening game, 25-13, but the Devilettes answered with a dominant 25-12 win in Game 2. Ripley answered back to eke out a 26-24 win in Game 3—a pivotal game the Devilettes seemingly had won before faltering on the final handful of points. Game 4 was a wild momentum shifting affair with Ravenswood finally prevailing 25-23 on a Bayli Manns' net kill to knot the match at two games all and force the deciding equally wild tiebreaker.
Kacie Whitney paced the Lady Vikings with 14 points. Kelli Poling and Dusti Fisher had five setting assists each. Whitney was also Ripley's top spiker with 11 kills.
For Ravenswood, Katie Buckbee led all scorers wit h 29 points. Bayli Manns added 16.
Manns was the top Devilette server at 24/26 (one ace) and passer (39/46). Tia Querrey was 102/107 in sets. Buckbee had 19 kills. Lauren Hoff had eight blocks, Manns five and Natalie Francis four.
Pre-match Senior Night cereminoes honors Ravensowod's Katie Buckbee, Michaela Hughes, Tia Querrey and Natal Francis and their parents.
Ravenswood (10-6) won the jayvee preliminary, 25-23, 25-18, behind 14 points from Lauren Hoff and 12 from Bayli Manns.
Allie Hamilton paced the Lady Viking jayvees with 11 points.