MONTGOMERY — One could call the latest chapter of the Barr-Reeve/Loogootee volleyball rivalry as a battle of the irresistible force against the immovable object.
Barr-Reeve plays a fast pace of volleyball, with only one girl measuring above 5’8. Loogootee features middle-hitting tandem of Christina Ziegler and Michaela Beasley who each stand 6’2. Loogootee also returned four year varsity players Abby Ackerman and Demi Richardson from last season’s state runner-up team.
Both teams also boasted several returning starters from last season’s teams, but Barr-Reeve was dealt a blow early on Friday. Junior Libero Hannah Bullock was unavailable due to injury, and forced the Vikings to alter their lineup on the fly. On Friday night in Montgomery, however, the irresistible force prevailed before a packed crowd at Kavanaugh Kourt in four hotly contested games by scores of 25-19, 29-27, 15-25, 25-19.
Loogootee seemingly opened each game quickly, and led early in game one at 6-3 before a Viking run put Barr-Reeve in front at 10-8. The Lady Vikings steadily increased their margin, and two Tiara Kenney kills gave Barr-Reeve a 21-15 lead. A booming shot from Hania Sisco ended the set at 25-19.
Game two was an epic back and forth, and Loogootee looked to take control late. A string of Vikings errors gave the Lady Lions a 19-16 advantage. Another string of Hania Sisco kills moved the Vikings back in front at 21-20. Later in the game, both teams forged ties at 25, 26, and 27, before a Loogootee hitting error gave the game to the Vikings at 29-27.
The Lady Lions looked like their size advantage would become a huge factor in the third stanza. After the Vikings moved in front at 12-10, sharp serving from Abby Ackerman, a trio of Viking hitting errors, and more net dominance from Beasley gave the Lions life with a 25-15 margin.
The Lady Vikings closed out the match in game four. Loogootee once again fronted early with an 11-7 lead. However, the Lady Vikings Molly Wallace got hot behind the service line. Two aces from the junior gave the Vikings a 17-15 lead, and one they would not relinquish. Two more kills from Sisco gave Barr-Reeve a 22-18 lead, and a Loogootee error ended the match at 25-19.