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Volleyball: Collinsville ends Chico’s run

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, November 4, 2017
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End of the Line

END OF THE LINE – The Chico Lady Dragons fell to Collinsville in bi-district Tuesday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Having come from behind twice already in the second and fourth sets, the Chico Lady Dragons appeared poised for one more rally Tuesday night.

Trailing 8-4 in the decisive fifth game, Chico mounted yet another comeback and looked as though they were on the verge of spoiling Collinsville’s upset attempt. But after tying things up at eight and taking a 13-12 lead, the Lady Pirates burned their final timeout – and flipped the script on Chico.

Collinsville scored three unanswered points to win the fifth set and the match, knocking the Lady Dragons out of the playoffs in the 2A Region II bi-district round 25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 21-25, 15-13.

“I just don’t think we played our best,” said Chico coach Jody Carter. “I was glad we were in that fifth game because I didn’t know if we were going to get there. We rallied all night. We battled all night.”

Out of the final Collinsville timeout, Chico committed two straight errors, including a ball that dropped harmlessly to the hardwood that tied things up for the Lady Pirates. The match ended on a block by Collinsville at the net that ricocheted out of the Lady Dragons’ reach.

“We just had some fundamental errors we don’t normally make,” Carter said. “At times we looked really good. It’s just disappointing.”

Chico got off to a slow start in the first set, falling down 9-4 after several missed kill opportunities. Despite two quick timeouts from Carter, the Lady Dragons were unable to get anything going as Collinsville continued to put the pressure on.

In the second game it was much of the same, as the Lady Pirates’ aggressive service returns gave Chico fits to the point they fell behind 18-10. Ultimately, the Lady Dragons got back on track, outscoring Collinsville 15-4 to take the second set.

With the Lady Pirates taking set three, Chico entered the fourth game staring elimination in the face and responded again. Senior Jessica Byers led the charge for the Lady Dragons, dominating the front of the net and recording several kills.

As the two sides traded points in the final set, momentum eventually swung back to Collinsville for good after the Chico error to tie the game. Although they erased deficits in both sets they won, the Lady Pirates proved too much for the Lady Dragons down the stretch.

“We just came up short,” Carter said. “It could’ve gone either way.”

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