COLUMBUS — The Barr-Reeve Lady Vikings showed that they will definitely be a force as a member of the elite teams of the 2A volleyball family at least for one more season with a close loss on Saturday.

The 34-3 No. 1 Vikings dropped a three-set semi-state match to powerful Heritage Christian in Columbus.

Although the match went just three sets, Barr-Reeve played two incredibly close sets, where no one would have been surprised to see B-R go into a fourth game with at least one or even two winning games.

However, when it was all said-and-done it was the massive Heritage Christian front row that helped the Eagles into the 2A finals with a 26-24, 25-20 and 25-23 win.

“I just feel like against a team like Heritage Christian there is minimal room for error. When we had a 17-11 lead in that first set, and you just can’t make mistake. We needed that first set. We fought back and made it respectable, but we could never really get back to within three points,” said B-R coach Amber DeCoursey.

“When you have a player like Raven Colvin it makes it hard, but I thought we did a good job containing their ‘outsides.’ Their ‘middles’ were just huge for them.”

After Barr-Reeve opened with the first point, the lead see-sawed back and forth to 3-all; however, HC did go up by two at 5-3, but it didn’t take long for the Lady Vikes to take a 7-6 lead. Hannah Graber’s back row kill made it 10-8, while extending it to 14-10 before Heritage Christian got the ball back.

B-R continued to put distance between them as a kill from Addison Ainscough made it 18-12. Heritage used its big front row to climb back to 16-18, forcing B-R to call a time out. The Eagles tied the game at 19-all and 21-all, but a pair of blocks from Purdue recruit Raven Colvin led to a 24-21 margin, but B-R fought back to 24-24, before HC was able to come away with the 26-24 win.

In the second game, HC took a 4-1 lead before B-R got the ball back. However, Colvin and Co. extended it to 7-2 and 10-3. A kill from Ainscough cut the lead to seven, while a block from Sarah Graber and Ainscough made it 7-12.

Anna Ballengee’s kill brought it back to just a three-point deficit at 12-15.

Lovie Wallace, 6-1”, of Heritage also picked up a powerful kill to move the lead back to 19-14. Hannah Graber added an ace, but it was the serving of Jasye Thompson that pulled B-R back to 20-23, before the Eagles picked up the 25-20 win.

Hannah Graber’s kill from the right side gave B-R a 6-4 lead in Game 3, but HC battled back to make it 8-6 and then 10-8. B-R tied it at 10, but Colvin again used her size to give HC an advantage.

Ballengee’s kill brought it back to 13-15 and a set from Kara Hughes found Graber for a kill that made it 16-all. B-R moved out to an 18-17 margin but the game was again tied at 19 and 20.

The game stayed tight at 22-all, but Colvin made it 23-22 before coming away with the 25-23 win.

“We had our opportunities in set three as well and we just had them slip away,” said DeCoursey. “The girls have so much to be proud of. We lose three seniors, Kara Hughes, Alexis Traylor and Kaylynn Wagler, and I told the team when you walk out of this locker room, you are going to hold your head high. We followed our game plan, their middles were just huge and we had some opportunities that we just didn’t take advantage of.”

Heritage Christian moves on to Worthen Fieldhouse in Muncie to meet with Wapahani, who defeated Fairfield in the Northern semi-state.

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