Cave Spring-Hidden Valley volleyball is once again on a crash course.
It’s been three years since a Cave Spring-Hidden Valley volleyball match had brought so much excitement to a Southwest County showdown.
Big crowd? Yep. A lot of anticipation of mentor vs. former player? Oh, boy. Torrid kills? You bet. Spectacular shotmaking? On the mark. A little mayhem? Let the student sections answer that one.
It all came together Tuesday night in the Cave Spring gym as a long-time state championship coach faced off against one of her former players. Nobody left disappointed although Hidden Valley and head coach Carla Ponn pulled off the 3-0 sweep against first-year Cave Spring coach Kylee Beecher, a front line mainstay for Ponn and the Titans over a decade ago.
And, while the score will always say 3-0, anyone in the gym knows that score was much closer than most will ever know.
“I’ve gone up against a bunch of my former players who became coaches,” Ponn admitted with a chuckle when asked about facing Beecher. “It makes me nervous. Cave Spring is a very good team. They came at us with a lot of tenacity and character. It was fun. Kylee has turned their program around. She’s one of my kids and I’m really proud of her.”
The first set was a nail biter. The two teams swapped points through 11-11 before Cave Spring looked ready to take control, going up 18-14 in part to a laser by Knight junior Taylor Robertson and a kill by senior libero Kylie Angel. The Titans closed to within 19-18, but Cave Spring surged to a 23-19 lead before Hidden Valley reeled off 4 straight points to knot things at 23.
Cave Spring got to set point on a Robertson kill, but the Titans responded to tie it. Robertson again sent the Knights to set point, but Titan senior Jahnvi Patel answered with a kill to keep the set going. After another point swap, Hidden Valley sealed the win after an errant Knight serve and a Patel ace down the middle for the 28-26 final.
Set two stayed close throughout, with ties at 17, 20 and 21 before the Titans exploded to score the final four points to win 25-21.
The final set had Cave Spring up 15-12 and 17-14 before Hidden Valley went on a 6-0 rally to lead 20-17. The Titans pushed the set to match point at 24-20 before trading scores, including the match winning block by freshman Cam Davenport for the 25-21 victory.
Meg Coolbaugh led Hidden Valley with 10 kills and 8 digs. Sawyer Freeland blasted 9 kills past the Knight defense. Frannie Sine set the table for the Titans with 20 assists.
On the Cave Spring side, Robertson slammed down 22 kills and brought up 8 digs. Angel had 13 digs from the hardwood and senior Hannah Smith posted 17 assists.