WILSON FALLS IN DISTRICT OPENER

With senior Alexis Slater sidelined with a sprained ankle, Wilson was in for a greater challenge against playoff-tested Kennedy in their district playoff opener. Despite the efforts of Tia Briggs and Sojournah Channel to help lead the squad, Wilson fell 17-25, 25-19, 18-25, 23-25 to the Lancers on Nov. 2 at Auburn-Mountainview High School to bring their season to an end. The Rams fell behind 10-4 quickly in the first set and Kennedy slowly pulled away, but Wilson was quick to respond. Channel had two early kills in the second set, and an ace later gave the Rams an 8-7 lead that they carried through the entire second set. The Lancers stayed close, coming within one point four separate times in the set, but Channel added a kill to make it 21-15 later that helped the Rams take control. “That was one of the best games I’ve seen us compete in this year,” said Wilson head coach Jenna Elliott of the match. “I was really proud they didn’t ever give up and kept fighting.”

But Kennedy regained momentum in the third set, racing out to a 17-9 lead and never looking back. Trailing early in the third set, Briggs helped the Rams close within 11-10 with a tip and Channel gave Wilson its first lead with an overhand smash to make it 12-11. The lead grew to 20-15 on Carsen Stanley’s kill later in the set, but the Lancers closed on a 10-3 run to seal it and end the Rams’ state hopes. Channel finished with 13 kills and 10 digs, while Briggs had six kills and three blocks and Rachel Russell led the Rams with 21 assists. “Tia really stepped up her leadership this last week,” said Elliott. “I was impressed with how she was leading. And Sojournah is always leading by example in her play.”

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