Washington swept by West Craven in finale

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

West Craven spoiled Washington’s senior night on Tuesday. Four Lady Pack seniors played in their final regular-season match. The emotional evening was soured as Washington conceded late leads in two sets en route to being swept by the Lady Eagles.

PHOTOS: Washington volleyball senior night

Now the team hopes it hasn’t played its last game. Coach Kendall Hihn, hoping the Lady Pack squeaks into the playoffs, found positives in the improvements observed since losing at West Craven on Sept. 21.

“The last time we played this team, we were going through a rough spot,” she said. “They were not playing to their potential. I think having senior night tonight, the momentum and emotion fed into that. They played so much better than the last time they played West Craven.”

Washington kept things close for the majority of the match. The girls earned hard-fought points in the first set. It brought the home fans to life and breathed confidence into the players. Summer Campbell had a kill to give the Lady Pack their first lead, 12-11, in the opening game.

The set remained close thanks to stellar work from Washington’s back row. Senior Sydney Walker had crucial digs down the stretch, but West Craven closed it out for a 25-18 win.

The Lady Pack scored the first three points in the second set. Campbell punctuated the spurt with an ace. Washington continued to pour it on. Back-to-back kills from Campbell and Sydney Keech pushed their side’s lead to 12-4.

West Craven seemed flat to begin the set. But, after trailing the entire set, the Lady Eagles went on a 10-2 run to turn a 20-15 deficit into a win.

The third set remained close. Washington, hoping to make a senior-night comeback, matched West Craven tit-for-tat. The Lady Pack got the ball on a hitting error, and Elisa Wilkins’ serving gave the home team an 18-17 edge. West Craven was able to close out, though. It rattled off a 7-2 surge to complete the sweep.

“I could see the girls physically run out of steam,” Hihn said. “I knew they were tired. They played hard. They were hustling and moving. But, I think physically, they ran out of steam a couple of times. It took a second wind to get up and go.”

Washington will learn its postseason fate soon. The deadline for reporting was Wednesday. If there is a playoff berth, the Lady Pack will be on the road in the first round.