MILL CREEK - Tygarts Valley hosted Moorefield in a Potomac Valley Conference match-up Thursday night with the visitors winning in three tight sets (26-28, 22-25, 23-25).
In the first set, Moorefield's Bethany Smith served the visitors to a 4-1 lead and was helped by two kills by Cheyenne Lender. Lender would figure prominently in the match.
Great defense from the Bulldogs kept the set close for a time but then Moorefield pulled away to a 16-8 advantage, again on the strength of Smith's service.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Steve Swick
Tygarts Valley’s Kelsey Arbogast prepares to serve during a PVC match against Moorefield Thursday night in Mill Creek.
Finally, Tygarts Valley began to chip away. With the Jackets up 20-10, TV's Paige Pritt served for five points in a row. One of those points featured a beautiful diving save by Kelsey Arbogast.
Caitlyn Murphy and Emily Pingley combined to serve the Bulldogs back into contention and actually into a set point at 26-25. However, a side out and two points served by Moorefield, had the visitors claiming the first set, 28-25.
The Yellow Jackets took early control of the second set with Mallory Sisler staking them to a 14-6 lead. Eventually, Moorefield would assume a 10-point advantage in this set as well at 17-7 and 19-9.
Again, the Bulldogs fought back behind the serving of Pritt and Charity Lower. The 10-point cushion had evaporated into a close game at 23-21 in favor of Moorefield. Pingley helped with a couple of nice kills for the hosts during that span.
The large margin was once more too difficult to overcome and Moorefield went on to post 25-22 second set win.
TV started the third set by taking the lead but Lender took a 7-6 deficit and turned it into an 11-7 lead. Tara George extended that to 16-9 for the Yellow Jackets before the Bulldogs made one last run to tie the set at 22-all.
However, for the third time of the evening, Moorefield was clutch and closed out the set and the match at 25-23.
Constant pressure from Moorefield was the difference in the match as Lender was set up to deliver kill shot after kill shot. The Bulldogs showed a lot of heart and never gave up, playing good defense throughout the match.
Leaders for the Bulldogs (3-2, 2-2 PVC) were Pingley with 18 kills, 4 assists, and 11 points; Pritt with 5 kills, three assists, and 12 points; and Murphy with 11 kills and five assists.
"We knew this was going to be a tough match and it's really hard when maybe your best player, Rachel New, gets injured and can't play," Tygarts Valley coach Kayla White said. "We just have to get better."
Morgan Hill-See, the coach of the Yellow Jackets, was pleased with the three set win.
"This is quite a drive for us, so I'm happy it didn't go longer," she said. "We're playing OK. It's a young team without any seniors. We have a junior in Cheyenne Lender who is both a natural athlete and a leader and is helping the coaches out a lot."
The Bulldogs record falls to 3-2 overall and 2-2 PVC. Their next match is at home against conference foe Potomac County on Monday at 6 p.m. Moorefield travels to Hampshire County for a 6 p.m. match on Tuesday.