RICHMOND - Rivalry matches tend to bring out the best in teams.
That was the case Tuesday night as OVAC, Buckeye 8 and Jefferson County rivals Indian Creek and Edison met on the volleyball court in front of a loud crowd out at the home of the Wildcats.
The match was competitive from start to finish, but in the end the Redskins were able to deliver down the stretch the most en route to a 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18 victory.
"They are the team next door," Indian Creek (4-1) head coach Crystal Hammack said. "There is always a rivalry with them.
"We knew Edison was going to bring their A-game. It's always a good match with them."
In the three games they were able to win, the Redskins made little runs to distance themselves from the Wildcats.
"It is always a competitive match with Creek," Edison (4-2) head coach Leah Eft said. "It is a great rivalry. It's one of those games in sports you always look forward to."
Individually for the Redskins, Jessica Furda delivered 32 assists, three aces, six kills, four blocks and 12 digs; Bre Berryman recorded 17 kills, 10 blocks and two digs and Kiarra Kamarec contributed three aces, four kills and six blocks.
Alexis Fithen netted seven kills and four digs; Bethany Davis four kills and eight digs; Martina Marko two kills, two blocks and four digs; Kaylee LaRue eight digs; Malllorie Sullivan three digs; Brooke Spence two digs and Whitney Martin seven digs.
"We served aggressively," Hammack said. "We played with intensity and heart. If we play with those two things we will always come out on top."
Individually for the Wildcats, Katelyn Pollock collected two digs, eight points and 21 kills; Caitlin Brenstuhl tallied 41 assists, two digs, five points and four blocks and Cassady Jarvis recorded four points, 12 kills and four blocks.
Maddie Williamson tallied two points two digs, Kim Wilson eight points and two kills, Alexis Gill collected seven kills and five blocks, Kalee Neal four digs and two points and Kayliegh Westbroook four digs.
The first game was tied at 17. Then, the visitors scored four of the next six points to take a 21-19 lead, forcing the Wildcats to call timeout. The victors increased their lead to 23-19 and eventually took the first game.
"They outscrapped us," Eft said. "One good thing was the gym was loud. The fans were loud. The student sections were rowdy. That is what you want. You always want your gym to be loud.
"The bad thing about that is I wasn't able to manipulate my players like I normally do. I yelled, but they couldn't hear me. That is not an excuse. I told them they have to be able to play through that. We had five seniors out on the court, and we have to play a little smarter."
In the second game, Indian Creek was the first to reach 10 points as the Redskins took a 10-8 advantage. The lead grew to 13-9 and to 15-10 as Eft called another timeout to rally her troops.
The winners kept the momentum and they increased their lead to 20-14. The Wildcats fought their way back into the game as Edison closed the gap to 21-17, but once again the Redskins stood tall at the end of the game.
"They still have a lot of girls back from last year," Hammack said. "I give Leah credit. She does a great job. She always has her girls prepared. They still have some good hitters."
After dropping the first two games of the match, the Wildcats found themselves in a do-or-die situation heading into Game 3.
The game was tied at 14 and at 17 and three straight points by the Wildcats forced Hammack to call a timeout. Edison kept the momentum after the timeout, and the Wildcats built a five-point lead at 23-18 as Indian Creek once again called timeout.
The lead grew to 24-18, and after the Redskins fought off one game point, the Wildcats were able to put the game away to pull within 2-1 in the match.
"They have some young girls," Eft said. "They have one sophomore up front, who crushes the ball. We are not used to seeing that.
"Crystal brings her girls up right. That is a compliment to her."
The Wildcats' momentum carried over into the fourth game as Edison raced out to a 3-0. Unfortunately for them, the Wildcats were not able to keep the momentum as the Redskins responded in a big way.
Indian Creek collected the next six points to take a 6-3 lead. The Wildcats were able to hang tough and keep the Redskins within striking distance, but in the end Indian Creek was able to pull away.
Indian Creek increased its lead to 16-11 as Edison took a timeout, and Eft was forced to call another timeout a little later in the game as the Redskins increased their lead to 20-14.
Edison was only able to get as close as five points after that as Indian Creek went on to the game and the match.
"I think it was a typical match for us," Hammack said. "We are able to plug girls in. We focus on what the girls are good at. We build off of their strengths."
The Wildcats have to have short memories and put Tuesday's match behind them as Edison is scheduled to return to the court today in a tri-match along with Weir at Harrison Central.
"The girls have to have a short memory," Eft said. "We use that phrase a lot."
Indian Creek is scheduled to play Thursday at home against St. Clairsville.
"We lost our first match to Carrollton," Hammack said. "Usually, we don't lose our first match until later on in the season. That was a good wake-up call for our girls."
Tuesday's match was the first meeting between the teams this season. The next match up is set for Sept. 24 at Indian Creek.
"We will see them at least one more time," Eft said. "If the girls aren't excited for that match, then I don't know what you get excited for."