Down 5-16 in the fourth set, Wayne Country Day head coach Haleigh Wilhide sat on the edge of her seat, telling her players to settle down throughout the fourth set.
Wayne Country Day came back to win the fourth set. The Chargers closed out Wayne Christian 25-22, 25-21, 24-26, 25-19 on Friday evening.
“We switched up a few things a couple of times, and I just need six to be collectively on fire at the same time. Some are struggling a bit, and we had some new subs, and I think that made them wake up,” Wilhide said.
“We should’ve sealed the deal in the third set. Ultimately they finished it, and I’m proud of them.”
Wayne Country Day had a 21-15 lead late in the first set, but the Eagles erased the six-point deficit to make the score 22-22. However, Wayne Country Day took a 23-22 lead and closed out the opening set on Jordin Whitney’s ace and Parker Faircloth’s kill.
Wayne Christian built an 11-6 advantage in the second set, but Wayne Country Day answered with a 19-10 run to come back and win the second set.
Back to back aces from Claire Barfield gave the Chargers a 21-18 advantage late in the third set, but this time it was Wayne Christian’s turn to go on a run.
The Eagles outscored Wayne Country Day 8-3 down the stretch to win the third set and seize the game’s momentum.
“It just goes back to being mentally tough and having that confidence to finish it,” Wilhide said.
In the fourth set, the Eagles were flying high as they jumped out to a 15-6 lead, but the Chargers dug deep and eventually tied the game 17-17, which forced Wayne Christian to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Wayne Country Day charged ahead to win the fourth set and snap its four-game losing streak.
“I’m super proud of them, and the girls needed it too,” Wilhide said. “Once they settled in, and we had a nice little motivational speech, I think that was the fire that they needed to finish.”
Lindsay Stallard dished out 10 assists to lead Wayne Christian, while Bri Verme, Maddy Sutton and Lauren Mitchell all finished the game with four kills. Hannah Jones served four aces.
Wayne Country Day (3-6 overall) hosts Liberty Christian Academy (0-10) on Monday, while Wayne Christian (2-5) travels to John Paul II (6-0) on Thursday.
“I want to keep seeing the girls grow collectively as a team,” Wilhide said. “We’re a young team, and I just want them to show confidence and be aggressive.”