Miscommunication on the floor and misplayed shots helped Berea keep pace with Lincoln throughout the match.
Lincoln and Berea traded sideouts and points in the first game of the match until Raine Scheler served up four straight points to ease the Lady Pirates up 13-11. Lincoln regained the lead, 15-14, on a three-point Torres service and showed a 24-20 advantage on its final sideout, scoring four points off the serve of Kylene Williams.
Berea got the final sideout trailing 24-20, but the match ended on Wendy Price’s first serve as she hit into the net to give Lincoln the 25-20 win.
Anderson didn’t like having to watch her team struggle to earn a lead.
“I’m not very happy. I think we got over excited and our excitement in the beginning caused everything to go bad. We couldn’t get our excitement down,” she said.
Lincoln’s struggle continued into the second game, with Berea holding the lead for most of the game, leading by as many as seven points.
“We were just scrambling round and messing up. One error led to another and it was just rollercoastering down,” said Torres.
“When we finally mellowed it out, we mellowed it out too much and it caused us to go down,” added Anderson. “We didn’t play to our potential at all – not at all.”
A 19-12 lead late in the second game had Lincoln shaking in its shoes as Berea threatened to force a third game.
“I was like, ‘Wow! How are we ever going to catch up?’” Frith said. “There was a lot of excitement with ‘Senior Night’ and we never could get focused for the game. I didn’t know if we could catch up with them.”
But the Lady Patriots did “catch up.”
The deficit was 21-15 when Lincoln got its final sideout and VonLinger stepped up to serve. The senior Lady Pat proceeded to serve up a string of 10 straight points to help Lincoln pull out the comeback win.
“It was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life, I cannot lie,” VonLinger said. “I just knew that we were down by a lot and I had to stay focused and had to keep the serve up. I think me keeping serve up kept my team going. They knew they had to protect the serve. We protected the serve and we got it over with and we won.”
VonLinger said she was surprised by how Lincoln performed in the “Senior Night” game.
“I don’t think anybody wasn’t expecting us to play how we did. The crowd wasn’t, the team wasn’t. I’m pretty sure even Berea wasn’t expecting us to do like we did,” she said. “It should have been a whole different game. It should have been a whole different match. We should have blown them out of the water.”
The Lady Patriots have set high goals for the upcoming postseason and VonLinger says Lincoln will have to do much better than its performance against Berea to achieve those goals.
“We know we can do so much better. We are so much better,” said VonLinger. “Every game we play goes toward district and regionals. District is what we’re shooting for, but what we really want to do is go to regionals as the No. 1 seed. And we’ve got to play better than we did tonight to do that. We’ve got to play like the team that we are if we are even going to make it there.”