Trojans win Battle for the Spike against the Little Hawks

In a nail biting five set match, the Trojans defeated the Little Hawks 3-2 on Tuesday, Oct. 4.


Zoe Smith

Melae Lacey ’24 and Alaina greenlee ’23 look to eachother after winning another point on Oct, 4, 2022.

Zoe Smith and Alaina Greenlee

Three years.

Three years have passed since the Spike was in Trojan hands. However, in an electric senior night five-set thriller in the historic Battle for the Spike, the West High volleyball team ended the streak for the first time in the seniors’ high school career.

The Trojans started the two-and-a-half-hour match with a senior combination of defensive specialist Lexi Nash’s opening serve forcing an overpass and middle blocker Sophia Deyak denying any possibility to return the ball by slamming it into the open court. With just one point on the board, the whole gym could tell this matchup was going to be an exhilarating one.

Both the Trojans’ defense and offense remained scrappy throughout the opening set, picking up most of City’s offensive attempts and wisely placing the ball in holes in the Little Hawk’s defense. Junior Melae’ Lacy came in hot with two early-on back row kills that got the crowd charged. Although the Trojan defense was strong, City’s Claire Ernst ’24 worked in a handful of big kills, but West had other plans. Two roof blocks from setter Emma Stammeyer ’24 and Deyak shut down Ernst and kept the energy high, forcing a City timeout 16-11. The Trojans kept outpacing City and won the set 25-15 with a Lacy tool off the Little Hawk block.

The ball kept rolling for West in the second frame, beginning with a first point side-out with another Stammeyer-Deyak block. Racking up six points against City’s three, Stammeyer snagged back to back to back aces further fueling the Trojan fire. That passion continued in a marathon rally lasting longer than one minute. With the ball crossing the net sixteen times and more than 50 touches in the rally, West came out on top of a fierce point ending with a City offensive error. There was much more volleyball to be played as the Nash and Deyak overpass to slam play made another appearance, forcing a Little Hawk timeout down 7-14.

Fresh out of the timeout, Lacy and Deyak put up a monster stuff to shut down City’s middle blocker. Senior libero Alaina Greenlee added to the Trojans’ defensive power, flying to pick up a setter dump and digging the returned ball from Ernst to set up another Lacy hammer. With more big offensive plays on West’s side of the court combined with City errors, the Trojans closed out the set 25-12 due to the Little Hawk’s fifth service error.

The third set was much closer with a lot of back-and-forth blows. The Trojan energy was dwindling as City started in the lead with multiple kills from Ernst and Ruby McDonough ’23. After two consecutive aces from City and needing a spark, Head Coach Keeley Arnold called a timeout down 7-10. The Trojans caught up within one point for most of the set thanks to errors from the Little Hawk side. The Trojans strung together five points late in the set with the help of City’s mistakes and an ace dealt by Kristiana Washington ’24 to bring on a City timeout with West up 19-17.

Following the timeout, Ernst and Deyak traded big swings for each team, bringing on a second West timeout down 20-22. The Trojans responded back with an explosive Deyak kill and two huge digs from Nash in the backrow. After an interference referee call that West fans were not all too pleased with, West fell to 22-23, and City took the set 25-23 behind two back-to-back kills.

The fourth frame continued similarly to the third: tight. City came out with another Ernst kill, but junior Lucy Schmid handed one right back for the Trojans. Both teams exchanged big kills, but West blocking errors brought on the first timeout of the set down 9-12. Returning onto the court, the battle of brutes continued with massive points from Lacy and Ernst going head to head.

Two City errors and a Lacy back row finesse shot later, the Little Hawks called their own timeout down 18-19. Coming out of the break, a Deyak tool, Washington block and a Greenlee ace tallied the score to 23-20 and forced City right back into a timeout. City responded with a few kills and a setter dump, tying the score 24-24 and bringing West to call a timeout. Going into extra points, tensions were running high, and City took the set 27-25 after tooling the Trojan block and pulling out an ace.

The fifth and final deciding set started with a first-point win resulting from another Deyak and Stammeyer roof block, and the thrill was on. Nash followed that point up with an ace, and huge kills alternated back and forth. A slew of City service and hitting errors brought the score to 7-3 West, but City’s offensive power was persistent. Despite two Deyak tools and a Lacy bounce, West called a timeout after two consecutive City points with the Trojan lead shrinking 11-10. West bounced right back earning two straight points with smart shots against the Little Hawk defense. However, City’s four-point run caused the Trojans’ final timeout down 13-14.

Lacy stepped up with a big swing and a backrow tool following the timeout, but the rivals remained neck and neck. Withstanding four match points stacked against them, West fought on. Alternating serving and hitting errors, Deyak scored another point and the Little Hawks called their first timeout down 17-18 after a City hitting error. The pressure was on for the Trojans’ first match point, but not for everyone. Lacy had no problem tooling the block to end the adrenaline-filled game, and to take home the Spike for the first time in three years.

The Trojans will be back in action next week for the MVC Quadrangular on Oct. 11.