By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
COUNCIL, Va. —
Walking in to Council Elementary School Wednesday was akin to waking up in the movie "Groundhog Day."
For the second night in a row there stood the Honaker and Twin Valley volleyball teams preparing to meet in a championship match.
Unfortunately for the Tigers Wednesday's Crooked Road Conference match followed a dramatically different script than it did in Tuesday's Black Diamond District tournament.
Less than 24 hours after being swept by Honaker in the BDD finals Twin Valley defeated the Tigers, 3-2 in a playoff for the CRC regular season crown.
It was a come-from-behind effort for the Panthers, who trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before hustling back to earn a 20-25, 25-23, 16-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory.
Twin Valley, which earned a first round bye in next week's CRC tournament and an automatic bye into the regionals, also had to overcome deficits of 12-6 and 13-10 in the fifth set.
Powerful Panther hitter Alexis Ramey aced three straight serves to give her club a 14-13 lead and Hannah O'Quinn found the floor with a strong kill to seal the emotional win.
"Coach (Rick Goodman) put some inspiration in us to fight back," said Ramsey, who got five or her eight kills in the final two sets. "We finally started getting our serves in and started hitting better and we got a few good blocks."
After struggling to cover, dig and pass in Tuesday's 3-0 loss and much of the first three sets on Wednesday, Twin Valley (17-5) kept the ball off the floor and significantly cut down on its errors near the end of the rematch.
"We made some plays tonight," said Rick Goodman, who assists his wife, Panthers head coach Melisa Goodman. "You got to make plays and you got to get your serves in.
"I thought we covered the floor and hit well, especially in the last two games. The ball never hit the floor except for a couple of good hits by (Honaker)."
Lakin Keene had 17 service points and Ramsey finished with 15 for the Panthers.
Honaker got three kills from both Laura Hess and Ashton Goodie in the first set, when a 16-3 run gave the Tigers momentum and the win. Twin Valley got back into the match in a hotly contested second set before Honaker dominated game three behind the play of Hess, Kaitlen Hubbard and Katie Caudill.
The Tigers (16-10) struggled to maintain their momentum at times, particularly in the last two sets.
"We never let them get that momentum back and make those runs on us (on Tuesday). Honaker coach Amy Davidson said. "We made a run tonight, but we let them get that run back and they made it a tight game. We had them (beat in the final set) and we let them make a run on us and that's what happens."
Twin Valley had balanced play at the net. Alexis Vance had seven kills and Kara Goodman added five. O'Quinn finished with four and added a key block in the match-ending 5-0 run.
Hess finished with 13 kills, Madison Vandyke added nine and Goodie had seven for Honaker. Goodie, meanwhile, was the only Tiger to reach double figures in service points with 13.
"We didn't have as many kills and we were missing serves, some of our better servers," Davidson added. "I told the girls every time I talk to the paper I tell them, 'you are the serving team, they think we are the serving team because you all get your serves' in but tonight they'd give us seven (missed serves) and we'd give them five right back and you can't do that and win."
Twin Valley will take on the winner of a first round matchup between Holston and Northwood in the conference semifinals. Rick Goodman, meanwhile, was relieved at winning the first Crooked Road playoff of any kind, especially after the way Honaker dominated the Panthers the night before.
"We didn't make as many unforced errors as we did (Tuesday)," he added. "(Honaker) thumped us (in the district). The scores were close, but it really wasn't really that close.
Honaker will host Council in a CRC first round match on Monday.