There was a time in Thursday night’s scrimmage against Dan River High School that the Halifax County High School varsity volleyball team had appeared to turn a crucial corner.

After having lost the first set 25-17, the Comets staved off a late Dan River High School challenge to win 25-23 and tie the match at one set each. Things continued to look pretty good for the Comets even though they suffered a 29-27 loss in the third set after having led much of the way. Then, the Comets’ effort fell short.

Dan River High School, its player able to spot spikes with their best precision of the night, took the early lead and never relinquished it in winning the fourth set 25-17 to take the overall match win.

While the Comets came up short in Thursday night’s scrimmage, first-year Comets head coach Meg Bane said she is excited about the energy the team brings to the floor.

“It was so much fun,” Bane remarked.

“We played well. To see the girls have that much energy is awesome as a coach. We have a lot to work on. This is why we have scrimmages. There are some technical things we need to work on, some things we need to do in practice that drills will help with. I know there is a lot we can improve on.”

Kirsten Wellons led the Comets in service points with 17, and Madison Barnes followed with 15. Wellons led the Comets in attacks with 11, led the team in good serves with 14 and led the team in blocks with four.

The Comets got off to a tough start, losing the first set 25-17 and trailing for more than half the match. Halifax County High School had a much greater sense of energy and urgency in the second set. The Comets led by four to five points for much of the way only to have to fend off a late Dan River High School rally to win 25-23.

That energy continued into the third set, a hard-fought set that saw the score become deadlocked 13 times and go into extra points. A spike by Madison Barnes put the Comets up 27-26.

Dan River High School tied the score and then went up 28-27 on a play when the Comets’ Kendall Foushee and a teammate collided while making a play on a ball. Foushee left the game with a bloody nose and did not return for the remainder of the match. Dan River High School pulled out another point to win the set 29-27 and take a 2-1 lead.

“The girls came out and played awesome in the second set,” Bane pointed out.

“You could tell they were more comfortable.”

The Comets did not show the same energy level in the decisive fourth set they had shown in the two previous sets. Dan River High School spotted its shots with a higher level of precision in the final set, and it showed with the 25-17 win.

“The girls looked tired,” Bane noted.

“They looked kind of flat. Losing Kendall Foushee on the last play of the third set hurt. She is one of our senior captains and leaders, and losing her in a match like that, I think the girls’ minds kind of went elsewhere.”

DAN RIVER HIGH SCHOOL 3 HALIFAX COUNTY 1

Service Points – Kirsten Wellons 17, Madison Barnes 15, Bailey Bowen 12, Kendall Foushee 11, Trinity Martin 11, Amanda Duffer 10, Sarah Watts 5, Raegan Ridgeway 5

Attacks – Wellons 11, Duffer 10, Martin 8, Foushee 8

Good Serves – Wellons 14, Barnes 12, Foushee 10

Blocks – Wellons 4, Peyton Lowery 2, Duffer 2, Martin 1

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com