YELLOW SPRINGS — Despite winning in straight sets against Legacy Christian on Tuesday night, the Yellow Springs volleyball team didn’t have a smooth road to get to the finish line.
The first two sets saw the Bulldogs have to climb out of multiple holes before coming out with a 25-22, 26-24, 25-12 victory at home.
In both, the Knights led by at least five points when they were five points away from taking the set. You didn’t see any down faces on the floor for Yellow Springs though, as focus on the task before them was front of mind.
“That’s what we work on a lot is demeanor, it’s not ever over,” Yellow Springs head coach Phillip Renfro said. “You get on a run, you’re trying to handle momentum, then you’re trying to control the momentum. The biggest thing is not letting the pressure get to you. Those two things are not exclusive, but can be mutually together. Our girls, their attitudes are amazing and they didn’t let the pressure get to them, so that’s what allowed them to battle back.”
After being tied at both five and 10-all in the third set, Yellow Springs senior Aaliyah Longshaw went to work on serve.
She rattled off 11 consecutive points to open up the set and give the Bulldogs its first lead of more than three points during the match.
“Aaliyah is a really great leader,” Renfro said. “She’s the captain of our team and she has a mentality and intelligence for volleyball. She’s a strong server and those weren’t fluke services. She aces me in practice every once in a while.”
Longshaw led the Bulldogs with at least 20 digs, while also having great performances in aces and kills. Senior Angelina Smith also made herself a presence at the net.
Renfro said he thought his team’s defense also did a great job against Legacy Christian senior Layne Burke, who came into the match leading the MBC in kills this season.
“I feel we’re really great in all facets,” Renfro said. “We’re not a big team, so we’re not a big kill team, but we’re going to spread it around, so that way you can’t get a beat on any one person in particular.”
The stats show the versatility too. Longshaw came into the match leading the team in kills while being second in digs, Smith first in blocks but also in digs too, and junior Josepine Zinger the leader in aces in the league.
The first two sets were tight, but the Bulldogs prevailed with a comeback in both. In the second set, Legacy led 19-11 and later 20-14 before Yellow Springs rolled off six straight points to tie the set.
From there, the two teams remained tied at each point up to 24, where Yellow Springs made the right plays to take a two set to none lead.
”In the first part of those first two sets, we were just kind of getting a feel for things,” Renfro said. “And then maybe we just try to start getting settled in after that.”
Yellow Springs improves its standing the race for the MBC title, now 11-3 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Bulldogs are tied with Legacy in the MBC and only trailing unbeaten Dayton Christian.
The Knights reserve team won the early game, 25-18, 27-25, similarly finishing off the match with a second set comeback from seven points down.
Yellow Springs has some time off until it plays Southeastern on Monday. Legacy hosts Middletown Christian on Thursday.
Contact Steven Wright (937) 502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.