Western Hills head coach Kristi Buffenmyer said she saw “fighters” leave the floor Thursday night. Her volleyball team’s rally fell short. The “W” wouldn’t be placed next to her team’s name, but she didn’t care.
“They played fantastic,” she said of WHHS’ 0-3 (16-25, 25-27, 20-25) loss to Woodford County. “I think they finally realized, ‘Hey, we can do this.’ They don’t quit and they have a lot of heart.”
WHHS (5-10) lost the first game against Woodford County 25-16 and looked as if it would go away quietly in the second. The Lady Yellowjackets (2-7) built their lead up to eight points, when Buffenmyer’s team answered back.
Woodford County errors and the Lady Wolverines’ Nenna Eneje and Morgan Hibdon helped even the score.
“We were down 20-12 and came back 20-18,” Buffenmyer said. “That’s some fighting. It really is. That proves their character.”
With Woodford one point away from winning its second game at 24-22, the Lady Yellowjackets made a mistake — a service error. Woodford called a timeout and the next point after, WHHS tied the game 24 all.
“I think they realized that Woodford was going to make mistakes if they just got the ball back over to them and that’s what they did,” Buffenmyer said.
A kill from WHHS’ Brooklyn Etherington gave the Lady Wolverines their first lead of the game since the score was 3-2. But two errors from WHHS allowed Woodford to claim its second game.
“The problem we’re having is we’re just not finishing it,” Buffenmyer said. “I think that’s what we need to work on in practice more, but to be that close to a No. 1 seeded team is phenomenal for these kids. Especially if you looked at us two weeks ago against Franklin County, we’ve really come a long way.”
In the third game, WHHS trailed early 8-1 but kept fighting. Two consecutive kills and a block by Eneje tied the match at 13. After three more tie scores, Woodford finally was able to pull away and win the game 25-20.
“Woodford County has always been strong in our district,” Buffenmyer said. “We knew they had a strong outside hitter (junior Leah Brown), but we also knew they ran a 5-1 and that their setter would be on the right hand side, so if we could dump to her to make her move it would throw them off their game. It seemed to work for us.”
Buffenmyer said she looks forward to playing Woodford again on Sept. 30.
“We’ve been fighting strep throat and ankle injuries all week long,” Buffenmyer said. “I feel really good about the effort. I really do.”
WHHS will next play at Lexington Christian on Tuesday night, giving the girls the weekend to recuperate.
“I hope they will enjoy the football game, enjoy their weekend, stick together as a team and move right on,” Buffenmyer said.