Eight senior Lady Bulldog volleyball players stepped out onto their home court for the last time on Tuesday night to a gym packed with fans in red. They played in four thrilling sets, but fell to River Road 22-25, 28-26, 23-25, and 20-25 to finish their season.
Set one started out disastrous for Borger. They fell behind 10-2 before kills from Katie Ammerman and Nellie Embers got them going. Even then, River Road was rolling to a 15-4 lead over the Lady Dawgs. Emma Wood had two great blocks in a row, Haley Armstrong provided two kills, and Tootie Karins had a nice dig to put the ladies back in it. After another strong block from Wood, Borger was down 18-14 after going on an 10-3 run. Embers, Kaylee Purcell, and Ammerman all had kills late in the game for Borger, and despite climbing to within two late, River Road prevails 25-22.
Set two began with an Armstrong kill set up by Nicole McMurry. Embers, Wood, and Ammerman all had kills of their own to tie the set up at 5. Borger fell behind, however, and found themselves in the hole by 9. Blaine Hill set up Purcell for a nice kill, and Stephanie Soto and Maggie McMurry made some great defensive plays to keep the ball alive for the Lady Dawgs. Hill then set it up for two monster kills from Armstrong and M. McMurry had an ace to pull the ladies within 3. M. McMurry had another ace, and Wood played spectacular at the net with a block and two kills to put the ladies up 25-24. Since you have to win by two, play continued. Borger takes set two, 28-26 after a great comeback.
Set three started off with some great defense from M. McMurry and an Embers and Ammerman kill. Purcell had another kill, while Wood and Armstrong combined for a block at the net. Wood killed it twice in a row to tie the set up at 10. N. McMurry had an ace for Borger, while Wood added two more kills and Embers and Purcell each had one to keep the game tight. One last kill from Purcell was not enough, and the ladies fall 25-23 in a close one.
Set four was a must win for Borger. It started off strong with a block from Armstrong and Wood and a kill from N. McMurry, the setter. Embers had an ace to put the Lady Dawgs up 7-5. Hill set up Armstrong and Soto for kills, and M. McMurry had a couple of diving digs to keep the ladies in it. Armstrong had another two kills, while Embers and Purcell each had another one late in the game. A great block from Purcell, and a dig from M. McMurry were the last plays of the game, as Borger fell 25-20 in the final set.
Senior Haley Armstrong led in kills with 11 and junior Nellie Embers finished with 10. Senior Emma Wood had 8 and senior Kaylee Purcell had 6. Senior Nicole McMurry led the assist category with 19 and senior Blaine Hill had a nice game with 12 assists. Wood had an outstanding 10 blocks on the night, while Armstrong finished with 5, and Purcell with 2. Embers and senior Maggie McMurry had 2 aces a piece. M. McMurry also finished with 18 digs to lead Borger, while senior Stephanie Soto and Armstrong finished with 8.
I have immensely enjoyed covering this Lady Dawg team this year. From Emma Wood with her never-ending energy, to Tootie Karins' powerful serves, to the awesome strength of Haley Armstrong, they were a pleasure to cover. They never ceased to entertain me, and I am proud of the way they played this season. I wish the best of luck to seniors Emma Wood, Maggie McMurry, Kaylee Purcell, Blaine Hill, Nicole McMurry, Stephanie Soto, Tootie Karins, and Haley Armstrong.. and Go Lady Dawgs!