Waynesville stole set one but fell in the final two sets to the Hornets in the first round of the Class 4 District 10 tournament

Somebody forgot to tell Waynesville the last-place team is supposed to roll over in the first round of districts.

No, the sixth-seeded Lady Tigers (5-21-3) didn't upset second-seeded Hillcrest (24-4-3) in the Class 4 District 10 volleyball tournament on Monday in Lebanon. They threatened to do so but fell two sets to one.

Waynesville opened up the match by stunning the Hornets with a 25-20 first-set victory. The teams battled back and forth, tying at every point from 16 to 20 before the Lady Tigers went on a 5-0 run to seal the win.

"We were the last seed with five wins on the season, yet took the second seed to three sets," Waynesville coach Sarah Covey said. "The last time we faced Hillcrest was ugly. But we've worked, worked, worked."

That last battle with the Hornets was indeed ugly -- a two-set sweep in Waynesville.

After erasing another sweep from the realm of possibility, the Lady Tigers continued to jeopardize Hillcrest's playoff hopes.

Senior Ashton Pilz nailed a couple of kills as Waynesville pulled ahead 5-3. 

Acrobatic digs by senior Kelsey Arnold and juniors Michelle Amato and Michela Bibb kept the Hornets' offense in check.

"We have a phenomenal defensive team and that's something a lot of people don't see," Covey said. "It's the reason a lot of teams can't just get by us."

The score was tied nine times from there on out until Hillcrest went on an 8-1 run to take the second set 25-18.

Jump-starting the final set for the Tigers, Pilz scored a kill and Amato had an ace en route to a 3-0 Waynesville lead.

The Hornets then flipped the switch and tied the set at four apiece. The score was tied, too, at points six, seven, eight and nine before Hillcrest had a four-point run to take a 13-9 advantage.

Waynesville had a little three-point run to pull within 13-12 but that's as close as the Lady Tigers would get from there on out as the Hornets took set three 25-15.

It wasn't the end the Tigers envisioned for their season, but Covey was proud it wasn't ended without a fight.

Only two seniors -- Arnold and Pilz -- depart the team, so she is already making plans for a bounce-back year in her third season.

"There is an idea that people have that I can't build a culture here because of how our community is set up," Covey said. "That is not true. The kids coming in are ready to buy into the family.
"And day one of the off-season starts tomorrow."