The Crestview High School volleyball was eliminated from the playoffs after a 3-1 loss to Chiles in the Region 1-6A semifinals on Wednesday night in Crestview.
CRESTVIEW — The Crestview volleyball team’s magnificent season is over.
No. 7 Chiles made the trip west from Tallahassee and upset the No. 4 Bulldogs 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 in Wednesday’s Region 1-6A quarterfinal match with The Dawg Pound faithful nipping at its heels all night.
Tears followed shortly after the final whistle, as did the hugs and the words of affirmation that would fall on deaf ears. A 21-6 regular season, though impressive, always feels a bit hollow without a postseason victory, especially when that postseason game was so gut-wrenching.
Time and again Crestview fell behind to a much taller Timberwolves team, and time and again the Bulldogs clawed their way back, but David’s sling wasn’t enough to beat Goliath on Wednesday.
“It sucks, but we didn’t beat ourselves,” Crestview coach Matthew Potts said. “In the end, (Chiles) deserved the win for what they did, so good for them.”
Crestview took the first set of the night, as both teams put forth ferocious defensive effort. Neither side was able to pull ahead by more than four until the Bulldogs (21-7 overall) scored four of the last six points, winning the set on a double hit penalty.
Crestview takes the first set 25-20 over Chiles pic.twitter.com/kgOdvJy43Z— Sam Grubenhoff (@SamGrubenhoff) October 24, 2019
It was arguably their best team performance of the night, but it just didn’t last.
“We started out strong,” Potts said. “We took that first set and the girls played great. We kinda fell short a little bit on the second, but we came out and we played our best.”
Chiles (20-8) never seemed to lose its momentum.
Crestview took a four-point lead on four separate occasions in the second set, but the Timberwolves fought back each time. Tied 23-23 late, the Bulldogs called a timeout. Chiles scored three of the next four points, tying the match 1-1 when a Crestview dig flew into the net.
The third set proved just as competitive, though the roles were reversed; A 6-0 Timberwolves run midway through the period proved too much to overcome, and a 9-3 run to start the fourth set almost yielded similar results until Potts called a timeout.
“I told the girls, ‘Look, we can’t do a back-and-forth set here,’” he said. “‘If we do back-and-forth, they win the match. We have to find a way to score three, and if they get one, we score another three.’”
Trailing 20-13 with elimination imminent, the message took hold. The Bulldogs scored nine of the next 11 points, tying the set at 22-22 when senior Calina Corthell hammered a ball off Chiles’ Jessica Roberts and again 23-23 when senior Georgia Small fired a kill just inside the left boundary.
But that was as close as Crestview got.
Chiles takes the final set 25-23 over Crestview and wins 3-1.
The Bulldogs battled back from a 20-13 deficit, but their season is over.
Chiles will play Buchholz on Tuesday pic.twitter.com/LJRVnGjnMM
“It’s tough,” Potts said. “You know, you’re not robots out here; you want to do the best you can in those pivotal moments, but I’m proud of every single one of them.
“They all came out and did their job. We didn’t get where we wanted to be, but we had a good season.”
Chiles will play Buchholz at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Gainesville in the Region 1 semifinals.