INGOMAR • Peyton Wildman wasn’t sold on volleyball prior to Tuesday night’s historic season opener against Ingomar.
The East Union sophomore confirmed her new-found passion postgame after she recorded three crucial shots at the net to lift the Lady Urchins to a 3-2 victory (25-23, 21-25, 23-25, 28-26, 15-13) against the Lady Falcons in the volleyball debut for the two Union County schools.
“Oh, I love it,” Wildman said. “It was amazing. It was good to have all the hype.”
As for her scoring shots down the stretch, she said, “I just ran up and hit the ball.”
Ingomar and East Union both play in MHSAA Class I, Region 2, but this match didn’t count in the standings. The region matchup is scheduled for Sept. 17 at East Union. They’ll play another non-region match, too.
Two other county schools, Myrtle and West Union, are playing this season as independents.
“Tip your hat to Ingomar; they played well,” East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “Considering we’re both very new at this, I thought we both played very well.”
Prior to the deciding fifth set, Ingomar and East Union fans rose to their feet and passionately cheered for their teams.
“That was good. (Volleyball) is off on the right foot,” Ingomar coach Andy Wilbanks said. “If you asked anybody who was here if they enjoyed it, I don’t think you’d get a ‘no’ from anybody.”
Carrie Wilkinson’s service ace helped lead East Union to its 25-23 win in the first set.
Lady Urchins rally
The Lady Urchins jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the second set only to see Ingomar, behind the serving power of eighth grader Brooklyn Wicker, rally for a 25-21 win.
Wicker recorded seven aces on eight straight points to give her team a 20-19 edge.
“Brooklyn served really well,” Wilbanks said. “She rolled off seven or eight in a roll and got us back in it.”
Ingomar, behind some solid play at the net by Sanaa Finley, won the third set, 25-23. East Union used an ace by Harleigh Wellington to win the fourth set 28-26 and force the playoff.
“When it came down to it, players made plays. Peyton Wildman just made plays,” Blythe said.