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Lady Rebels battle Northpoint to fifth set in Regionals

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Volleyball Berger pass

Lady Rebel senior Kendall Seering calls out a position as her teammate Bethany Berger (22) sets the ball for Asante Lopez during Saturday's West Regionals against Northpoint. The Lady Trojans won the fifth set 18-16 to eliminate the Lady Rebels.

Lady Rebel senior Kendall Seering calls out a position as her teammate Bethany Berger (22) sets the ball for Asante Lopez during Saturday’s West Regionals against Northpoint. The Lady Trojans won the fifth set 18-16 to eliminate the Lady Rebels.

Win and you play for another week. Lose and your season is over.
Saturday that was the mindset of the Northpoint Lady Trojans and Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels. And both teams fought to the end in a five-set thriller in the TRA Gymnasium. And it was the Lady Trojans advancing in the end 12-25, 25-16, 25-20, 20-25 and 18-16.
The afternoon started in the favor of the Lady Rebels jumping out to a 12-1 lead in the first set behind the serving of senior Jackie Kuykendall. She had three aces that made the score 10-1. After her teammate Asante Lopez slapped down a spike the score was 12-1.
Then the play of Lady Rebels Jordyn Thornell and Bethany Berger positioned TRA into a 20-5 lead. Thornell protected the net while Berger was setting up hits and scoring on tips. Then Berger took her turn at playing at the net ending the first set at 25-12 with a spike.
It appeared TRA would run away with the West Regional Second Round match up. But the Lady Trojans bounced back taking the second set 25-16 and the third set 25-20.
Standing one set away from elimination the Lady Rebels jumped out 6-1 to start the fourth set. TRA players contributing to the output were Allie Nafieh, Berger and Kuykendall.
Then standout junior Lopez started to come up lame. Her hamstring was bothering her and she was forced to the sideline.
Northpoint finally caught up to tie the set at 10-10. And eventually the Lady Trojans were ahead 17-11.
When the score was 17-12, Lopez returned to the court. Her arrival seemed to spark the play of Berger, Kuykendall and Thornell.
Down the stretch TRA survived for another set outscoring the Lady Trojans 13-3. Berger tied the fourth set at 18-18 with a well-placed tip through the Northpoint defense.  Then Kuykendall served up another ace to give the Lady Rebels the advantage at 19-18. After the Lady Trojans tied the set at 19-19. Thornell regained the lead for TRA with a tip of her own.
Later Thornell slammed down a spike that made the score 22-20. Lopez closed out the set and tied the sets at 2-2 overall with a spike.
The fifth set was scheduled to go to 15. But no one in attendance was surprised the decisive set went into extra points. The score was tied five times with the fifth deadlock being 13-13.  The Lady Trojans were on the brink of victory taking a 14-13 lead. Then TRA tied it 14-14 and then Lopez still battling her leg pain hit a spike to put the Lady Rebels on the edge of a win.
Northpoint tied the set at 15-15. Lopez scored on aonther kill to regain the lead for TRA at 16-15. The Lady Trojans tied the set at 16-16. Then Northpoint was able to score the next two points to advance to this week Regionals at St. George’s.

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