RONDA — Volleyball fans at East Wilkes High School got their money’s worth Tuesday night as the Cardinals took on the Forbush Falcons in a nail-biter.
East Wilkes prevailed in a thrilling five-set match for its first win of the season. Both East Wilkes (1-2) and Forbush (4-3) had to battle through adversity all match, and it made for one of the most exciting finishes this year.
The Cardinals hadn’t played since Aug. 20, and were leading 2-1 in the match with a 22-13 lead in the fourth set and on the verge of victory.
“We played great in the first set, and then we think we have it won, we laid down, and we were getting ready to get beat,” Forbush Head Coach Amber Fulk said.
That’s when the Falcons responded with eight straight points to make it a one-point game. East Wilkes would respond to get to match point, but Forbush would fight its way back to tie it up. East Wilkes would have two more chances to seal the deal but could not. Forbush fought back for a 29-27 win to force a fifth and deciding set.
Forbush came out swinging in the tiebreaker set and led 10-8 in the race for 15 points. East Wilkes senior libero Saleena Call reiterated her message to the team after dropping the fourth set.
“You gotta come together as a team when you get down. It’s not about how you get down but how you get up,” Call said.
The Cardinals got up for sure, firing off six straight points to get to match point 14-10, thanks to some great senior leadership, and three straight kills from Olivia Bullard.
“[Olivia Bullard], when she got those three slams back-to-back-to-back, it really pumped up our girls,” East Wilkes Head Coach Meredith Wingler said. “My seniors this year are competition heavy, they thrive off of it.”
East Wilkes then hung on for a 15-12 win for its first match win of the season. For a team which hadn’t played in nearly two weeks, they struggled in the the first set, losing 25-12. Wingler noted the 12 days off as part of the reason they did not come out firing at times.
“I think it slowed us down a lot,” Wingler said. “Some of them were getting a little frazzled, I have some great leaders on the floor, Saleena Call… is not afraid to voice her opinion, and being able to say to them, ‘You have got to swing,’ it’s like a lightbulb came on.”
East Wilkes then traveled to Wilkes Central (1-4) Thursday at 5 p.m. to try and keep that lightbulb on. Forbush also hit the road to East Forsyth Thursday at 5 p.m. At press time, results were not available.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.