Dramatic win for Troup volleyball team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They found a way.
With their hopes of advancing past the opening round of the Class AAAA state volleyball tournament on life support, the Troup Lady Tigers discovered the spark they needed to rally past North Oconee on Thursday evening at Marist School in Atlanta.
Troup came from behind to win the fourth set 25-13, and it outlasted North Oconee 17-15 in the fifth and deciding set to pull off the dramatic win and advance to the round of 16.
Troup, which finished third in Region 5-AAAA, will face home-standing Marist on Tuesday, with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line.
“There’s not one (player) you can pick out,” Troup head coach Leigh Bailey said. “Everybody did what they were meant to do, what they were supposed to do. Even in the times when we got down, there was always somebody there to lift them up, or somebody to say remember this, or we’ve got to do this. It all came together. It was just our time.”
Troup won the opening set 25-20, but North Oconee won the second set 25-18 and the third set 25-16 to seemingly seize control.
“We were loose, and we did well (in the first set),” Bailey said. “And then we kind of got down on ourselves.”
Bailey said North Oconee was ahead in the fourth set as well when one of the Troup players offered some encouraging words during a timeout.
Earlier in the week, the team watched the movie “Facing the Giants” as motivation, and each of the players wrote a bible verse that means something to them on a wrist band they wore during the match.
During that critical fourth set when things seemed to be going south, it was Kate Moore who decided it was the right time to speak out.
“We were probably down by six or seven points in our fourth set,” Bailey said. “One of our most quiet players, Kate Moore, said I have something to say. She came out with all of these analogies from watching “Facing the Giants,” and she said we have to get out there and give it all to the Lord, and we’ll be able to win. It just changed the momentum. Everything just kind of turned it around. It was really like flipping the switch.”
Troup ended up winning the fourth set with ease, and it was back-and-forth in the fifth set.
“It was point for point. It was just incredible,” Bailey said. “It was our time. We were just thankful.”
Bailey added that “it was great sportsmanship” between the two teams.
“We clapped for them, and they did for us,” Bailey said. “By the grace of God, we came out on top.”