GLOUSTER, Ohio — For the Eastern High School volleyball squad, this was one that simply got away.
Leading two sets to one against the host Trimble Tomcats on Thursday night, the Eagles couldn’t complete what would’ve been an important Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division victory.
The Tomcats stormed back in thrilling fashion to capture the match in five sets — prevailing 13-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22 and 15-12 inside a sweltering Bill White Gymnasium in Glouster.
After opening with a two-games-to-one advantage, Eastern evened opened up the fourth game with four-point leads of 7-3 and 10-6.
But the Tomcats clawed back to take the fourth set 25-22, and erased a 3-0 deficit while breaking a 12-12 tie to claim the fifth game and ultimately the win.
With the loss, Eastern is now 1-2 in the TVC-Hocking, having also lost at Waterford a week ago.
The Eagles are 3-4 overall, while Trimble raised its records to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Four Eagles amassed at least eight kills — paced by middle hitter Katlyn Barber who collected 17.
Those 17 tied Trimble’s Taya Lackey for a game-high, as Morgan Little landed 12 and Mak Brooks 11.
Allison Barber chipped in eight kills, while Morgan Baer dished out 43 assists.
However, Eastern committed 13 service errors, and lost precarious leads in the final two games.
Katlyn Barber’s kill made it 10-6 Eastern — which controlled the majority of the match — in game four, but the Tomcats tied the game at 14-14 on an Eagle attack error.
After Eastern led 15-14 on a Trimble error, the Tomcats then took the lead at 21-17.
Barber and Lackey then traded two kills apiece to make it 24-22 in favor of Trimble, as Macinsey Cooper’s block at the net gave the Tomcats the 25-22 win — and the 2-2 contest tie.
In the decisive fifth set, a Barber block made it 3-0 Eastern, but Lackey landed six straight service points to put the Tomcats ahead.
A Trimble lift call put the Eagles within a point at 7-6, but consecutive key kills by Lackey, Alexa Shust and Kaitlyn Spears extended the Red and Gray’s lead to 10-6.
But back-to-back blocks by Barber and Little gave Eastern the lead again at 12-11, only to see the Tomcats take the final four points — on four consecutive Eagle errors.
In between Trimble timeouts, the Eagles committed a service error, a hitting error and finally two attack errors.
Besides her 17 kills, Lackey also set for 17 assists and served for six aces.
Shust scored 14 kills, 11 assists and three aces, as Cooper and Spears posted three kills apiece.
Lackey and Shust, in the Tomcats’ 6-2 offense, spent the evening taking turns at setter and outside hitter.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106