A chance for a bit of revenge and to move one step closer to a Regional championship slipped through the fingers of Oblong High School's volleyball team Tuesday night (Oct. 29).
The Lady Panthers, seeded third in their Sub-Sectional, were upset in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A Casey-Westfield Regional by the host and 14th-seed, Casey-Westfield, in three sets, 25-19, 24-26, 22-25.
Oblong started slow, falling behind 3-0 to start the match and trailed by as many as six on a couple of occasions. Trailing 14-8, Oblong put together a five-point run to get within 14-13, then trailed 17-13 before a long service run by Kenzi McIntosh put the Lady Panthers in front 19-17. After Casey-Westfield scored to stop the run, Oblong then scored six of the final seven points to win the first set.
In the second set, Oblong again started slow, falling down 4-0, but eventually rallied to take a 12-9 lead. Casey-Westfield responded with a 9-3 run to take an 18-15 lead, only for Oblong to tie the score at 18-18 and again at 19-19 before a four-point run by Hannah Meese gave OHS a 23-19 lead. However, a missed serve gave the ball back to Casey-Westfield and they were able to run off the next four points to take a 24-23 lead. A missed serve tied the score at 24-24, but Casey-Westfield was able to score the next two points to win the set and even the match.
In the third set, Oblong started strong by scoring the first two points and eventually pushing out to a 6-3 lead, but Casey-Westfield responded with a 9-3 run to take a 12-9 lead. The deficit continued to grow for OHS, as they eventually fell behind 18-12 before they scored three straight points to get within 18-15. Casey-Westfield countered with five straight points to make the score 23-15, but the Lady Panthers would not go down without a fight. Trailing 24-16, Oblong scored six straight to get within 24-22, but a missed serve ended the set, the match and the season for the Lady Panthers.
Meese led OHS with 13 points, including two aces, seven assists, three digs and two kills, while Harlei Myers posted 10 points with three aces and five digs. McIntosh contributed nine points with two aces, 10 assists, three digs and one kill, Alyssa Potts totaled four points with two aces, nine kills and three digs and Grace Flexter recorded four points with one ace and eight digs.
Oblong ended its season with a 17-14 record.
"It was a good season," OHS head coach Pam Johnson said. "I hate that we lost tonight, but I want to leave my seniors with one thought - 'work hard to make all your dreams come true.'"