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BUCKNER — Oldham County’s perfect start finally ended Tuesday at the hands of Male.
The Bulldogs came back from a two-games-to-one deficit to beat the Colonels 3-2. The loss was the first of the year for Oldham, which started the year 5-0, including wins over Lexington Catholic, Owensboro Catholic and Greenwood.
“(Male) stepped it up defensively when they needed to and they also didn’t miss any serves in the last set,” Oldham coach Vincent McDonough said. “They were more confident in a five-set match than we were.”
The Colonels looked to be in control of the match early in the fourth set. Oldham dropped the first set 25-20, but roared back to take the second and third sets, both at 25-16.
Midway through the fourth set Oldham had an 11-8 win. But unforced errors came back to back to bite the Colonels. Oldham gave up six points on serves that either found the net or landed out of bounds, allowing the Bulldogs back in the match.
Male came back to win the fourth set 25-21, then ran out to a 11-5 start in the decisive fifth set.
“In the last game itself, I hoped we’d come out on a service run and start the game with confidence,” McDonough said. “It just never happened.”
Oldham eventually went on a three-point run, cutting the deficit to 11-8, getting the crowd into the game and forcing Male to take a timeout.
But the Bulldogs regained their composure and finished the Colonels off 15-9 to take the match.
“If you’re down five in a game five situation where you play to 15, your odds of winning the set are probably less than 30 percent,” McDonough said. “When our crowd finally got into it I thought that may turn a few things around.
“But Male didn’t miss any serves and they were doing a great job defensively blocking our hitters.”
Oldham will return to action this weekend in the BIVT at Lafayette High School in Lexington. Ryle, South Oldham, Henry Clay and others will also participate in the tournament.
“We’ve played some tough teams already, beat some tough teams,” McDonough said. “We’ve got a young team still, but I’ve got two seniors that want to go to state and we’re hoping to get better, learn from this loss and hopefully do a better job serving the ball.”