“We passed well. We weren’t very enthusiastic. It was just the motivation wasn’t there and I don’t know why,” Piedmont coach Grace Strott said.
With no school Monday, Strott had a walk-through practice Monday morning. After practice, the players ate lunch together and then rode the bus together to the match – following the same routine they had when they won the area tournament last year.
White Plains won the back-and-forth first set 26-24. The second set went to the Bulldogs 25-20 after Piedmont had led as much as 17-9. White Plains took set three 25-17. Piedmont held a 12-6 lead in the fourth set but the Wildcats closed with a 19-11 burst to take the set 25-23 and with it the match.
“They were all very upset when they lost. It’s not that they didn’t care. They were surprisingly emotional,” Strott said. “I just need to find a way to get them to be more excited about getting a point. That’s the only difference between us and the other two teams (White Plains and Saks).”
Carlie Flowers and Riesha Thompson led Piedmont’s attack with 15 kills apiece. Mallory Roberts, Piedmont’s lone senior, had five kills, 11 digs and a block in her final high school match. Thompson added 17 digs, two service aces and one block while Flowers had a pair of blocks. Jaylen Major also had two aces. Torre Roberts recorded 39 assists.
Bre Green led the defensive effort with 17 digs. Keshauna Jones had 13 digs and Ashlynne Rivers made 10 digs.
This season’s core group will be aided by a good group coming up from the junior high program for the coming season.
“We’ve just got to get mentally tough for next year,” Strott said.