Josie McGue of Jefferson blasts a kill in their four-set win over Cory-Rawson on Thursday night. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Josie McGue of Jefferson blasts a kill in their four-set win over Cory-Rawson on Thursday night. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

DELPHOS - The Lady Cats snapped a 14-game losing streak with a four-set victory over Cory-Rawson on Thursday night. Jefferson’s last win came on Aug. 31 when they defeated Waynesfield-Goshen.

“We have struggled with consistency and that has been the story of our season,” said Jefferson head coach Kristi Hageman. “Tonight was senior night and we have six great kids that are great on and off the court. I’m really happy they could get the win tonight. There were a lot of happy faces leaving the locker room, so I hope that momentum carries over into the tournament on Monday.”

Delaney Deuel was impressive to say the least, racking up 22 kills and a pair of blocks for the Wildcats. Gwen Teman led the team in assists with 22 and senior Mallory Bridges played through an injury to help secure Jefferson’s win over the Hornets.

The Wildcats recognized their six seniors prior to the game and relied on them throughout the match to as they overtook Cory-Rawson. The two teams were neck-and-neck through most of the first set before Jefferson took a slight lead 21-20. The late rally allowed the Cats to open their lead to 24-22 and a serve into the net by the Hornets gave Delphos the victory in the opening set.

Set number two belonged entirely to the Wildcats. They took a commanding 10-3 lead before Cory-Rawson tried to claw their way back midway through the set. Jefferson continued to distance themselves as they capitalized on mistakes from their opponent and played nearly flawless volleyball.

The Cats took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-14 win in the second set as the Hornets had their backs against the wall heading into the third set.

Cory-Rawson bounced back in the third set and took an early lead. A kill by Deuel cut the Hornets advantage down to one point but an 8-1 run by Rawson backed the Cats into a corner. Jefferson tried to rally but a block from Karissa Welte gave the Hornets a 25-21 victory and forced a fourth set.

Cory-Rawson lost the final set but didn’t go down without a fight. Three lead changes after a 25-25 tie had fans on the edge of their seat as both teams fought for every inch. An ace by Brooke Shepherd gave the Hornets a 26-25 advantage but two volleys later, the lead swung back in favor of Jefferson 27-26. The Lady Cats finally put the Hornets away when they forced a hit out of bounds and secured a 29-27 win in the fourth set and a 3-1 victory in the match.

Jefferson ends the regular season at 5-14 (0-7 NWC) and will travel to Parkway on Monday for the opening round of the OHSAA Tournament.