Leopards survive in epic match against Wildcasts, 3-2
The Lady Wildcats of Hobbton traveled to Lakewood to compete against their host, the Lady Leopards. This conference match was set to be exciting play between these inter-county rivals. These teams didn’t disappoint, as they left it all on the court that evening. Hobbton fell to Lakewood in a nailbiter match, 3-2, the Leopards shaking off a losing streak to bring their record to 3-10 with their first conference win, while the Wildcats find themselves with three consecutive losses after a strong start, their record at 4-5.
The first set had Hobbton clawing their way back but Lakewood slammed the door shut on the last points. The Lady Leopards take the first 25-21, leading the series 1-0.
The second set saw the Leopards riding high in the beginning, racking up a five point lead and holding it over the Cats. It would only get worse for them as the Leopards continue to bury them. Hobbton called a timeout hoping to regroup with the score being 15-5. Hobbton gained some headway in the deficit after a handful of unforced errors by the Leopards. The Cats weren’t finished as they turned on the jets and brought the lead within two. Lakewood called a timeout with the score at 16-14. Hobbton would benefit from the break stringing together a couple of plays to earn three consecutive points, taking the lead, 17-16. After Hobbton began to pull away, the Lady Leopards pulled off an impressive run to tie it up 19-19. Hobbton wasn’t about to let that stop them as they tacked on a four points, racing to the finish, 23-19. The Lady Leopards came roaring back before Hobbton called a timeout at 23-21, Hobbton. The round wouldn’t be finished by 25 points as Hobbton dropped the game winning point to win by two, making it 25-24, taking the set into extra points. After an intense back and forth between the teams, Hobbton finally came out ahead winning the set 32-30 and tying up the series 1-1.
The third set had both teams in close contention again as Hobbton held a two point lead in the first ten points 6-4. The Leopards would rally, gaining the lead and a little cushion 8-6. Lakewood would score four to their two before losing advantage with the score 12-8. Hobbton would call a timeout with the score 15-9 as the Leopards continued trudging ahead. After some tough play, the Leopards found themselves well ahead 21-15. Trying to hold on during a Hobbton rally, Lakewood would call a timeout while they held lead 21-18. The Lady Leopards would get the ball back but only for a serve as Hobbton continued to make their presence known and fought to get back even 22-22. The court was loud as both teams refused to cave to each other. The Lady Cats would fight again to take it to extra points, tying it up again 25-25. The Lady Leopards would gain enough steam to finish out this long set quickly, scoring the final points in consecutive fashion 27-25, taking the lead in the series 2-1.
The fourth set started off even as both teams struggled to produce offense keeping it even 4-4. They maintained that tempo for a little bit, until Hobbton dug in and delivered four unanswered points against Lakewood, making the score 10-4. After some intense play between both teams, Hobbton expanded the lead slowly as the Leopards relentlessly fought back to keep it close. Their efforts paid off as they chased Hobbton to tie it up 22-22, however, Hobbton would score the next three ending the set at 25-22 and tying it up 2-2.
The court fell silent as the final set came upon us, both teams played exceptionally that evening, really laying it all out on the court. The crowd was treated to splendid play from both sides. It was all even after the first ten with the score being 5-5. It would remain back and forth until the score was 10-10. Hobbton would claw their way forward by three 10-13. The Leopards would do the same tying it up at the game point 14-14. The lead would change multiple times in this tie breaker round, until Lakewood took the advantage and finally put this volleyball epic to bed. The final score for the round was 20-18, bringing the series final to 3-2.
Hobbton will be hosting a strong Lady Spartan volleyball squad on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. Lakewood will be on the road Thursday, Sept. 22, to face off against Neuse Charter at 5:30 p.m.
Reach Anthony McConnaughey at [email protected]