When you are at the top of the conference standings, every rival team is going to give you their best effort.
That was the case Thursday when the Washington Lady Lion varsity volleyball team welcomed the Ironladies from Jackson High School.
Washington was coming off an exciting win over defending FAC champions Chillicothe and was looking to solidify their standing atop the conference.
Washington had a good start to the match, but wound up losing, three sets to one.
Washington won the first set, 25-19.
The Lady Lions led late in the second and third sets, but Jackson came back to win both of those by the same 25-23 score.
Nothing seemed to work particularly well for the Lady Lions in the fourth set as Jackson completed the match win, 25-14.
“Their coach just told me that this was the best match they’ve played all season,” Washington head coach Ashley DeAtley said. “We had some things that weren’t working out for us. Our legs weren’t working.
“We had a couple of things that just weren’t going our way tonight,” DeAtley said. “We had to find a way to pull out some points and we just couldn’t do it. Jackson capitalized on a lot of our holes.
“Our defense wasn’t bad,” DeAtley said. “But, our serve-receive struggled. When you struggle with that, you can’t put the ball down on the floor. And at crucial times, we made some mental errors. We just weren’t mentally tough tonight like we needed to be.”
Statistically for Washington, Rayana Burns had 18 kills, Brittney Wilson had six kills, Mallory Hicks had four.
Wilson and Emily Semler led the serving for Washington, each with three ace serves.
Aaralyne Estep led Washington with 22 digs. Burns had 15 digs and Halli Wall had 13.
Burns led in solo blocks with four; Semler and Hicks each had two.
Washington (7-5 overall, 3-1 FAC) will host a tri-match with Zane Trace and Logan Elm Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.
The Lady Lions will play at Miami Trace Tuesday at 5 p.m.
In the j-v match Thursday, Washington defeated Jackson in three sets, 25-20, 15-25 and 25-12. The j-v team is now 6-3 overall, 3-1 in the FAC. They host a tri-match with Logan Elm and Zane Trace Saturday in the middle school gym beginning at 10 a.m.