After surging ahead to take the first set and appearing to have momentum on its side, the Pisgah volleyball team stumbled down the stretch and fell to Swain County 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 20-25, 20-25) on Thursday evening.

Senior Carter Gibson led the way for the Lady Bears in the first set with several crushing spikes. The score was tight throughout the frame. Swain County even took the lead, 18-17, in the late stages, but Pisgah held the Lady Devils to just two points the rest of the way and sprinted ahead to a 25-19 set victory.

Unfortunately for the Bears, Swain surged while Pisgah sputtered over the next three sets. Pisgah blitzed to a quick 2-0 lead in the second set on consecutive kills by Gibson and sophomore Ashtyn Frady, and the score was stuck in a gridlock of ties and tight lead swings for the rest of the stanza. Pisgah looked to be in the driver’s seat with a 22-20 lead. Swain county called a timeout, but when the teams returned to the floor the Maroon Devils went on a 5-0 run to take the set, 25-22.

“Swain did a good job of rallying back, give them all the credit, but I just don’t think we did a good job of putting the thing away,” said Pisgah head coach Josh Simmon.

Swain County carried its second set momentum into the third, jumping out to a 6-0 lead that would end up being the difference in the set’s final score. Swain pulled as far ahead as 10 points before Pisgah hunkered down and battled back, but the early hole proved to be too much as the Lady Bears dropped the third set, 25-20.

As expected in a deciding set, the Bears came out with energy in the fourth to take a quick 4-0 lead. The momentum swung back and forth throughout the set. Swain County stomped back to a 7-5 lead, then Pisgah jumped ahead again 13-9. The score found its way to a 17-17 tie as the gym began to grow loud. With the moment up for grabs, Swain County scored six unanswered points to move ahead 23-17 and would coast in from there to a 25-20 set win and a 3-1 victory.

“We served well in the first set and we did not in the next three,” Simmons said. “We’ve got to learn how to win, and that’s what we are trying to figure out how to do.”

Despite his disappointment, Simmons was quick to praise Swain County’s performance.

“Their block got better as the game went on and they limited their mistakes late in the match,” he said.

Simmons’ team will play again unMonday, when Pisgah will host Enka. Thursday’s loss to Swain County drops the Bears’ record to 1-3 on the season.

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