Thompson falls to Hoover, now 1-1 in region play

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – Thompson and Hoover went four thrilling sets in a region battle of top 10 teams on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Thompson High School as each looked to improve to 2-0 early in region play.

While each set was tightly contested, Hoover played from in front the entire night thanks to a few mistakes, especially in the first two sets, from the Warriors’ squad leading to a 3-1 victory for the Bucs.

“We had a chance to win tonight,” head coach Judy Green said after the loss. “But we didn’t give ourselves a good enough chance in the first two sets because we were making mistakes and not finishing plays.”

The real struggle seemed to be that Thompson (11-6, 1-1), couldn’t hang on to a serve in either set once they were able to win a point. It seemed like every opportunity the Warriors had to seize momentum, they gave the serve right back to the Bucs.

It led to Thompson trailing by as many as five in the first set, and found themselves down 19-15, before making the first run of the match. The Warriors went on to win seven of the next nine points to take their first lead of the match at 22-21.

Despite the struggling start, Thompson, up 24-23, had a set point shortly after, but Hoover went on to win the next three points after the Warriors served into the net on set point to tie it at 24. After a questionable call gave Hoover the lead, the Bucs took advantage and took set one 26-24.

Almost identically, Hoover played from in front the majority of the second set as well going up by five points at one point for the second consecutive set.

After trailing 16-11, the Warriors were able to battle back and take a 21-20 lead late and eventually found themselves tied at 23-23, but Hoover ended the set strong again, taking the final two points to win 25-23 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

“We talked a little bit during the break between set two and set three that we just needed to finish plays,” Green said. “Physically we were in a good spot, but we weren’t finishing the way we needed to.”

The talk clearly seemed to free Thompson up heading into the third set, a must-win to keep the match going, as the Warriors started capitalizing on opportunities.

Thompson was able to gather its biggest lead of the match at 18-15 in the set, and although Hoover was able to battle back to make it tight, the Warriors took the set 26-24 to cut the Bucs lead to 2-1 in the match.

In the fourth set, however, Hoover jumped out to an early 10-6 lead, and while Thompson fought back to tie it at 10, the Bucs were able to hold a three-point lead the rest of the way before picking up a 25-19 win to take the match 3-1.

“We’re still growing and inexperienced,” Green said. “We’re still learning how to be good consistently at a high level. All of the parts are there and there is no doubt about that. There is still a ton of volleyball left to be played and we’re so excited about that.”