Instead, setter Kayla Berns and her Wolfpack teammates used the opportunity to recapture their focus.
“At that point, you analyze everything you’re doing really carefully,” said Berns, a co-captain along with fellow senior Alex Powell. “… Everybody pulls together, and that’s what kept us in the game.”
The Wolfpack turned the momentum in the third game with a decisive run, rallying for a 3-2 victory that wrapped up their Area 2-AAAA North regular-season title.
“We’ve been through so much this year that we just didn’t panic,” Greenbrier head coach Debbie Born said. “You’ve got to break it down game by game, and that’s what we did.”
Evans (17-3, 2-1) took the opening game 25-19 before edging Greenbrier 25-23 in Game 2.
That’s when Berns and her teammates adjusted. The senior identified chances to use a strategic push, rather than hitting out on kill attempts, to open spots to get some cheap points.
“It is a part of my game,” she said of the tactic. “But you just have to be more aggressive and change the stuff that’s not working for us.”
With the score tied at 10 midway through Game 3, Greenbrier (21-3, 4-0) went on a 14-2 run that completely turned the tide.
Junior Jennifer Purucker had two of her nine kills during the run. She also had four aces in the match.
Powell had a match-high 10 kills.
The Wolfpack won Game 3 25-16 to force a fourth. They finished the match with scores of 25-18 in Game 4 and 15-10 in the decisive fifth game.
Jennifer Peters led the early offensive attack for Evans. The Knights’ co-captain said the team simply didn’t play its game down the stretch, instead rushing things a bit.
Still, Evans has a chance to earn the No. 2 seed in the subregion with a win over Lakeside at home on Thursday.
As for the tight contest, it didn’t surprise Evans head coach Lane Schuckers.
“That was typical Evans-Greenbrier,” he said.