By Gene Phelps
Special to the Gazette
ELLISTOWN – Freshman hitter Lindsey Dillard has been one of the Ingomar junior varsity’s top servers all season.
In Tuesday’s Class 1, Division 2 varsity match against county rival East Union, Dillard got the call to serve match point. She responded with a well-placed serve the Urchins could not return.
The end result was a 3-1 (25-22, 12-25, 25-19, 25-12) victory for Ingomar.
“I was just trying to get it over … and hit it as hard as I could,” Dillard said. “I was confident.”
Ingomar coach Andy Wilbanks was confident enough in Dillard’s serving ability to put her in the lineup at such a crucial juncture in the match.
“We’ve been serving her a lot in varsity,” he said. “When you’ve been on the bench all night and come in and get a really good serve in … Lindsey can build on that and be proud of that.”
Ingomar (3-9, 2-2) had lost two previous non-division matches to East Union (5-10, 0-4) this season, both in five sets.
“This was great for our girls. I think this will be a huge confidence boost going forward,” Wilbanks said. “We had lost two heartbreakers to them. I told my girls this is the division match. This one means a little more. That’s the mindset we brought into it and they responded.”
After spitting the first two sets, East Union built a 15-9 lead in the third set. Ingomar rallied to win behind five service aces from eighth grade hitter Brooklyn Wicker.
“I wanted us to come back. I was just happy to get my serves in,” Wicker said. “It feels good to be the winner for once.”
Wicker finished with eight aces and two kills. Cadie Jo Byrd had five aces, Katie Beth Hall three aces, Macie Phifer three aces and a kill, and Sanaa Finley had two kills. Finley’s second kill came late in the fourth set and set up Dillard’s winning serve.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “We didn’t set it particularly great. We didn’t hit it great. We didn’t receive serve. That’s the way it works. The biggest thing is no consistency.
“I told them, ‘It’s over. Let’s go practice and get better.’’’