Cougars ruffle Falcons nest despite loss in five sets

By Carl Holcomb
Moorefield Examiner

The Cougars arrived in Short Gap looking to ruffle the Falcons nest, but Frankfort kept it intact with a five-set match victory on
Thursday night.
East Hardy won the first set 25-22, then Frankfort took the second set 25-17. The Cougars responded in the third set 25-16,
however, the Falcons answered in the fourth set 25-15 to force a fifth set tiebreaker and emerged victorious 15-9.
“I’m convinced the kids are trying to kill me by just giving me a heart attack in these games. I feel like Moorefield and East Hardy
are similar in the way they pick up everything. They’re so scrappy and so athletic. They always have solid hitters and there’s not
a lot of holes on the floor. They just cover so well. The big thing for us today was to keep grinding and not getting down on
ourselves. We had to keep pushing and when the momentum was good, we just had to roll with it,” Frankfort Volleyball coach
Brooke Alkire-Higson remarked.
“We were a little behind the 8-ball, since Tuesday was our first game. Everybody else was two weeks ahead of us. We know we
have some kinks to work through but the good thing is as they did the other night is that when the going gets ugly, they keep on
pushing and rise above.”
East Hardy commenced the match with a 4-nil edge after a Falcons service violation, an attack by Gabby Miller was redirected
out of bounds on a dig, Emily Dyer served an ace and Miller had another volley non-returnable.
Frankfort got on the scoreboard with a spike from Arin Lease, then Jaci Rowe delivered an ace.
An attack by Miller was returned back into the net, then Dyer made a dig and Frankfort’s Peyton Mandell made dig prior to a
point earned on a shot by Braylon McKenzie.
Lease served up an ace and Taylor Mandell sent a volley over the net without a return.
The Falcons momentum continued with a kill by Mandell and another ace by Lease for a 7-5 lead.
East Hardy answered with a spikes by Emma Heishman and Miller to tie the set.
Peyton Mandell and Miller traded attack points, then there was a violation on the Falcons during a serve from Miller giving the
Cougars a 9-8 edge.
After an error by East Hardy, the team recovered with a spike by Dyer plus another attack deflected out to make it 11-9.
Frankfort got in the attack zone at the net with two blocks by Lease and another by Rowe as the Falcons talons pierced for a 13-
12 lead.
Frankfort increased the lead with a service point from Avery Noel and a kill by Rowe.
An attack by East Hardy’s Brooklynn Tinnell was returned out of play, then Dyer and Tinnell made digs on volleys by Peyton
Frankfort hit the net and Gabby Miller notched a kill to tie the set at 15-all.
East Hardy’s Autumn Crites served and the ball was redirected into the net for a 17-16 lead.
Emma Heishman, Gabby Miller and Tinnell recorded spikes for the Cougars, then a serve by Chloe Miller was sent back into the
net for a 21-17 edge.
East Hardy went up 24-20 on a service point from Gabby Miller, then the Falcons answered with a spike and block by Taylor
Madell to close the gap.
The Cougars finished off the first set with a kill by Heishman.
“The kids are working really hard. We are just fighting some inconsistency issues. We haven’t figured out how to finish yet. We
talked about that for 20 minutes in the locker room. We will figure it out. It’s a long season and it is still early. It is nice to be
playing a lot of volleyball. This was a good opportunity for us. Frankfort is a really good team. We are battling, but unfortunately
we are making some self-made problems. Our good is really good, but our bad is really bad. We have to find a way to eliminate
that to get a few more wins. This group battles. They hustle for every ball. When you see them, they are all red faced and
sweating. They work their butts off,” East Hardy Volleyball assistant coach Chris Hahn commented.
Frankfort started the second set with a point by Peyton Mandell as the ball was returned into the net.
East Hardy’s Gabby Miller blocked a volley to even the set and Morganne Miller served.
Dyer made a diving save on a volley by Far forts Taylor Mandell, but the ensuing Cougars attack was blocked by Lease.
Gabby Miller earned a point off an attack, then Chloe Miller delivered an ace for a 3-2 edge.
The Falcons answered with two consecutive kills by Taylor Mandell to regain the lead.
A serve by Frankfort’s Quinn Mandell was returned into the net, then Taylor Mandell notched a point on a dink.
Taylor Mandell blocked two attacks to put the Falcons up 8-4.
Dyer recorded a kill after the Cougars recovered from saving a block, the a serve by Heishman was returned into the net.
An attack by the Falcons went awry as East Hardy closed the gap 8-7.
A service error by the Cougars was followed by an ace by Peyton Mandell.
Frankfort added another point with the help of an error, then East Hardy’s Morganne Miller launched an attack and it was
returned into the net.
A volley from Autumn Crites was sent back out of play, then Dyer earned a point off a deflection during an attack.
Tinnell delivered an ace to tie the second set at 11-all.
Frankfort’s Arin Lease shifted the ball over the net in a redirect catching the Cougars off guard for a point.
Frankfort’s Avery Noel had a serve reputed into the net, then landed an ace.
The Falcons notched points on kills by Lease and Rowe to develop an 18-11 advantage.
Attacks by Dyer and Chloe Miller created points and an ace from Morganne Miller made it 20-14.
Frankfort capped off the second set 25-17 with a spike by Noel.
East Hardy’s Chloe Miller served up an ace for an early 5-3 lead in the third set and the momentum surged.
An attack by Heishman was returned awry, then a serve by Miller was not corralled along the border.
Gabby Miller’s volley was redirected into the net.
Chloe Miller delivered an ace, then Gabby Miller garnered a spike and Heishman added a point off an attack.
The Falcons made a carrying violation as East Hardy grabbed a 12-3 advantage.
A dig by Dyer found its way into the net, then Crites made a dig and Frankfort found the floor on the ensuing hit from Taylor

After a block by Mandell, Dyer’s volley was returned into the net.
East Hardy continued to create points as Dyer notched two kills and Addison Armentrout recorded a spike.
Dyer blocked an attack to give the Cougars a 19-6 lead.
The Cougars committed a service error, then an attack by Dyer was redirected into the net.
Armentrout garnered a spike and Tinnell served up an ace to extend the lead to 22-7.
Rowe’s attack landed just in front of the diving attempt of Crites.
Frankfort’s Avery Noel delivered aces thrice and an error by the Cougars cut the deficit to 22-12.
East Hardy’s Chloe Miller launched an attack and it ricocheted out of play.
The Cougars were overzealous trying to get the last couple of points as volleys sailed out making it 23-16.
East Hardy calmed down as Gabby Miller notched a push style kill and a serve by Crites was returned into the net to close the
third set, 25-16.
The Falcons swooped ahead 7-1 in the fourth set with the assistance of five errors and a spike by Taylor Mandell.
Frankfort served into the net, then Mandell blocked a volley.
Frankfort’s Braylon McKenzie delivered an ace and a volley by the Cougars sailed out for a 12-4 score.
An attack by Dyer was blocked into the net, then Mandell recorded a kill.
Armentrout collected an attack point and Tinnell followed with an ace to close the gap to 13-7.
Lease and Rowe slammed two more points, but East Hardy responded with a kill by Armentrout.
A couple of Cougars errors and block by Lease would put the Falcons ahead 18-8 and timeout was called.
Morganne Miller and Gabby Miller made digs and moments later Gabby Miller slammed a spike.
An attack by Lease was sent back into the net and followed up that point with an ace delivered for a 21-9 advantage.
An attack by East Hardy’s Gabby Miller couldn’t be corralled and Chloe Miller had a serve ricochet out.
The Falcons slid under the net on a save then an attack by Brooklynn Tinnell was returned out.
Chloe Miller created a service point to make it 22-14.
Frankfort closed out the fourth set with a kill by Taylor Mandell for a score of 25-15 and forced a tiebreaker fifth set.
East Hardy took the initial point of the fifth set on an attack by Dyer, but the next volley from Gabby Miller was off the mark.
Chloe Miller found the floor, but the Falcons responded with a kill by Rowe to even the set at 2-all.
Frankfort scored the next six points which included a pair of aces from Lease, 8-2.
Gabby Miller earned a point off a deflection for the Cougars, then Chloe Miller served an ace and added a spike to close the gap
to 8-5.
The Falcons answered with a kill and block from Taylor Mandell sandwiching an ace by Quinn Mandell, 11-5.
After a timeout, the Falcons hit the ball out of play.
Dyer created a spike, but the ensuing serve by East Hardy located the net.
Dyer jammed the ball through a block attempt for a point, then Heishman lofted the ball over the double block for another point
as the score stood at 12-9.
Frankfort’s Avery Noel earned a point on an attack, then a volley by Rowe was nearly lassoed at the wall by Crites.
A serve by Peyton Mandell was returned into the net for match point as the Falcons rested in the nest with a 15-9 fifth set victory
East Hardy JV Volleyball won 25-19 and 25-15. The Cougars JV team competed in the Trojan Tri-state Tournament over the
weekend and won the championship.
It was a tough week for East Hardy having lost earlier in the week by five sets to Pendleton County (25-17, 16-25, 25-21, 22-25,
The Cougars visited Broadway on Tuesday and greet Moorefield tomorrow in the Den.