Nocona volleyball clinches playoff berth

The Nocona bench celebrates during Tuesday's match against Jacksboro.

The Nocona Lady Indians clinched the last playoff spot in the district with their win against Jacksboro on Tuesday.
It was senior night for the Lady Indians and the Lady Tigers made them work for it as the match went to five sets, but Nocona got things done in the end.
Nocona came into the match on a four match losing streak. With its loss to Breckenridge a few weeks back and the Lady Bucks going on a rampage the second round of district, the Lady Indians were in position Tuesday night where they could be kicked out of the playoffs.
The good news was Breckenridge was playing district runner-up Henrietta. The Lady Cats did not suffer an upset loss to the Lady Bucks like both Nocona and Bowie had in the most recent weeks.
Still, to avoid a play-in game and guarantee the final playoff spot, the Lady Indians would need to beat the Lady Tigers.
Despite the emotions of senior night and trying to shake off the four game losing stretch, Nocona was also missing a starter, setter/hitter Megyn Meekins who is out with a foot injury.
The first set was competitive for the first 30 points. Jacksboro was up 16-14, but had its lead increase to 20-15.
The Lady Indians fought back to cut the lead to 21-19 and stayed close down 23-22.
Unfortunately for Nocona, Jacksboro closed out the set on top by the narrowest of margin 25-23 to take the early lead.
The second set could not have been more different. From the start the Lady Indians got into a groove serving the ball and the Lady Tigers serve-receive was a mess.
The 10-5 lead grew to 14-6 and 18-7. Jacksboro never got into the set as Nocona won 25-11 to tie the match up at 1-1.
The third set was like the opposite of the second for the Lady Indians for the first half of it. The Lady Tigers lead grew to 14-6 and still was firm at 16-9.
From there Nocona came all the way back to tie the score at 16-16. It looked like that effort might go to waste though as Jacksboro then got a bit of a lead 22-18 heading into the final few points.
The Lady Indians came back again to cut the score to 23-22. This time though, it went into extra points and Nocona came out on top 27-25 to take the match lead 2-1.
For most of the fourth set it looked like the Lady Indians were on their way to close out the match. An early 10-5 lead shrunk to 13-12 before immediately going back up to 17-13.
Unfortunately, the Lady Tigers came back to not just tie but take the lead 18-17. With the teams tied at 20-20 and the final few points looking like it could go any team’s way, it was Jacksboro that won out 25-21 to tie the match up at 2-2 and force a fifth and final set.
It looked like it might be a tight fifth set with how the match had gone to that point. Curiously though, it went much like how the second set went for Nocona.
The Lady Indians scored the first seven points of the set. Any of the several point come backs the Lady Tigers had done in the previous two sets never came as Nocona easily coasted to a one-sided fifth set win 15-3, winning the match 3-2.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.