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September 11, 2013

Moore wins four-set battle with NHS

NORMAN — The comeback story that is Norman High volleyball hit a pothole Tuesday night at the refurbished palace that is the NHS Gym. 

In a matchup of a couple programs that entered the court with the same record, it was Moore pulling out the win Tuesday night, claiming a 3-1 victory (25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-23) in a quartet of tough sets.

Inconsistency was NHS’ bugaboo, as the Tigers got off to horrid starts in three of four sets, falling behind 6-1 in the opener, 9-2 in the second and 9-3 in the third.

Perhaps taxed by so many comebacks, NHS (5-8) couldn’t hold its edge in the final set after jumping out to a 5-2 lead.

“I think we just had a lot of good plays but we couldn’t execute in the end,” second-year Tiger coach Randi Lewis-Coffey said. “The execution we needed to finish those tough plays was the problem that we had tonight.”

Moore (6-7) played a big role. If the Lions weren’t putting the ball away, they tended, at least, to keep it in play, extending dozens of exchanges to the point a Lion would come up with a winner or a Tiger with an error.

Aria Lewis led both teams with 15 kills, nine more than any Tiger, but the star might have been Emily Lynch, who kept so many points going with 20 digs.

NHS received six kills each from Kyla Newell and Rachel Wesson, while 6-foot-3 freshman Ryan Emmert made her presence felt with nine blocks. Still, a tell-tale sign of NHS’ struggle to finish off points, its two setters — Niki Milby-Darrow and Brooke Champeau — only combined on 15 assists.

Strangely, the one set the Tigers pulled out was the one in which they slipped into the biggest hole, fighting back from 9-2, 18-10 and 24-22 deficits. NHS claimed the third set by running off four consecutive points. Newell came up with three kills and a block as the Tigers won 16 of the set’s last 22 points.

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