Nevada Daily Mail
The Cottey College Comets came into competition with a chance to do something that any coach in any sport at any level would say is one of the most difficult feats to accomplish -- beat the same time three times.
Wentworth Military Academy gave the Comets all they wanted in the first two meetings between the two squads, forcing a five-set shootout in the season-opening triangular at Lexington, Mo., and forcing a decisive third set at the region seeding tournament last weekend. Things were no different Wednesday as Cottey needed five sets to do it, but completed the three-match sweep by the final scores of 25-13, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 and 15-9.
"We went five at the beginning of the season and we went five again tonight," Comets head coach Marla Kannady Foreman said. "Now, we did see them in St. Louis and we gave them game one and then we took the next two."
The Comets looked as though they would be able to put the Red Dragons down in short order Wednesday as Wentworth struggled with short serves and shoddy defense through most of the first three sets. That all changed toward the end of the third set, however, as Wentworth found its rhythm and came together, forcing the Comets into an all-out war.
The match started out just as close as it ended as the Comets never really gained much ground through the early portions of the opening set. Ahead 11-10, the Comets came to life with a 7-0 run that extended the lead to 18-10 and never looked back, going on to win the set by a final score of 25-13.
The second set was a much closer affair as the Comets began to struggle with their serve receive and Wentworth took full advantage. Cottey was able to hold on, however, and eventually won the set by a final score of 25-23.
And that was where things began to unravel.
Wentworth went into the third set looking defeated, but quickly turned things around as the Comets got just a bit lazy as the set progressed. After being tied seven times in the early portions of the set, Wentworth went on a 6-0 run that eventually lifted the Red Dragons to a 25-21 victory.
"I think my players love playing competitive games," Foreman said. "They have a hard time winning in three."
Wentworh was able to ride that momentum swing right through the fourth set and ultimately led by as much as six points on four different occasions. Cottey attempted to mount a comeback, but fell just short and Wentworth forced the fifth decisive set with a 25-20 win.
"I'll give credit to Wentworth. They were scrappy," Foreman said.
The Comets seemed to sense from that point that it was crunch time and played accordingly in the final set. After conceding the first point, the Comets went on a 9-0 run and that was more than enough to close out the night as Wentworth was never able to recover, handing Cottey a 15-9 victory that won the match.
With the win, the Comets improved to 6-5 on the season. The next action on the schedule is set for tomorrow, when the Comets head back out on the road to take on Allen County Community College at 6:30 p.m.