For The Independent
One point from victory in the fifth and final game, Russell coach Darrell Adkins saw a set floating toward Emma Ison and quickly blurted out one final bit of encouragement.
“Take us to the house,” he exclaimed from the sideline.
The talented sophomore quickly granted his request with a powerful kill down the line, sending the Lady Red Devils back to Russell with a 3-2 victory (26-24, 18-25, 19-25, 25-19, 17-15) over fellow 63rd district foe Greenup County.
It was Ison’s 19th kill on the play prior that broke up a 15-all tie that set up her game winner. Her 20 kills on the night led all players.
“She is as good as there is in the region,” Adkins said. “She is just a sophomore and she is as good as there is.”
With the win, Russell improved to 2-1 in the very difficult 63rd district, which includes Raceland. The Lady Rams are a perfect 11-0 on the season.
“If you look at the 63rd district with Raceland, Lewis, us and Greenup, I think you have four of the five best teams in the region,” Adkins said. “You are not going to have an easy night in this district.”
There was nothing easy about the fifth game for Russell, which had to battle back from a 8-2 hole at the start. The Lady Devils won seven of the final eight points of the game to complete the comeback.
“We really had to work for this one,” Adkins said. “At times we played really well and at times Greenup played really well. They deserved to win this just as much as we did tonight.”
After dropping the opening game, Greenup took games two and three behind strong play from its own talented sophomore, Katlin Moore.
Moore finished with 14 kills, unofficially, to lead the Lady Musketeers.
Ison and Moore were not the only two talented underclassmen making an impact. Russell freshman Sara Hieneman finished with seven kills and seven blocks.