Victory, so close but yet so far away

BURWELL — So close, and yet so far away.
Victory slipped through the fingers of the Wolfpack volleyball team as Burwell rallied from a two sets to one deficit to win a five-set thriller.
The Lady Longhorns won 20-25, 29-27, 14-25, 25-21 and 17-15.
Missed opportunities to put away the match early cost Elgin Public-Pope John on this night.
Easily winning the first set, the Wolfpack had two set points in Set #2 but failed to convert.
After splitting Sets #3 and #4, EPPJ fell behind early in the decisive final set. Trailing 8 to 3, the Wolfpack clawed their way back. Kills by seniors Ally Selting and Harlie Bode and a solo block from sophomore Skyler Bode highlighted a three-point run to pull within 8-6 forcing Burwell Coach Whitney Wurst to call timeout.
Then, after Burwell took an 11 to seven lead on a kill by Carlie Helgoth, the Wolfpack went on a seven-to-three run which tied the score at 14-all.
Momentum was on the side of the Wolfpack as the team capitalized on Burwell errors and two kills from junior Lexi Bode.
Following Burwell’s final timeout, the Wolfpack took a 15 to 14 lead when Claire Gideon put a spike into the net.
Gideon saved Burwell on match point when her spike hit the floor to knot the score at 15-all.
Burwell then took advantage of Wolfpack errant shots on the next two points to claim the match.
The loss was the Wolfpack’s second of the season.
“We have to get over that mental hump and finish,” Coach Tina Thiele-Blecher said about the match.
Astute volleyball fans know momentum is a key factor in any match. The Wolfpack had it early in the match as they dominated the Lady Longhorns in Sets #1 and #3.
In Set #2, EPPJ twice served for the set only to see Gideon & Co. thwart the Wolfpack. They served for the set at 25-24, but were unable to close the deal as Lexi Bode put down a kill. The teams then traded points to 27-all before the Lady Longhorns won the final two points to even the match at one set apiece.
“I saw some improvement from last week and we just need to keep building,” Thiele-Blecher said. “Burwell did a good job of making some adjustments and that is something we need to get better at doing.”
For the match, Meis led Wolfpack hitters with 13 kills, Ashlynne Charf had 12. They had 48 kills and 27 errors at the net.
Taylynne Charf recorded 38 of the team’s 45 set assists in the match.
The team had 10 solo blocks in the match, led by Ashlynne Charf with five, Meis had four.
One area where the team needs to improve was serve receive as they had 33 errors in the match.
The Lady Longhorns were led by the trio of Helgoth, Gideon and Jenna Schott who combined for 37 kills at the net. Cora Gideon led in set assists with 27 and Katie Hughes posted 44 digs in the match.
Burwell 3, EPPJ 2
EPPJ…………………………25 27 25 21 15
Burwell……………………….20 29 14 25 17
Attacks (K/Att/E) — Lexi Bode 7/23/11, Ashlynne Charf 12/25/2, Harlie Bode 6/26/7, Skyler Meis 13/30/4, Taylynne Charf 2/2/0, Ally Selting 8/27/2. Alyssa Burenheide 0/5/1. Totals: 48/138/27