Allie Webb, welcome to big time Truman volleyball.
After winning the first game 25-20, the Patriots went on a wild roller-coaster ride, dropping the second game 28-26 and rebounding to win the third and deciding game, 25-18.
“I love her last name – Webb,” Truman coach Denise Craig said Tuesday night at Fort Osage, “because she is our web; she holds us together.”
A better nickname might be the tarpaulin, because the senior outside hitter covers everything.
Webb served six consecutive points to help the Patriots get off to a hot start in Game 1, then helped her team overcome a 6-1 deficit in Game 3 by serving five consecutive points to knot the score at 6-all.
In between she was diving for loose balls, keeping her teammates motivated and collecting three kills and four aces.
“Allie saved us in the third game,” said Bri Savidge, who served the final two points in the deciding game. “After we were down (6-1), we were really down – mentally. Then, she helped us tie the game and you could see our confidence grow.”
Savidge paused for a moment and added, “This will go down as one of my favorite volleyball matches ever. It was so much, I didn't want it to end – as long as won.”
Webb echoed those sentiments.
“This is my first real Truman volleyball match,” said Webb, the daughter of first-year Truman football coach Gregg Webb. “If they're all this exciting, I don't know if my heart can stand it.”
As she talked about the match, which featured a total of 22 ties in the second and third games, she got a congratulatory hug from her father.
“I knew volleyball at Truman was going to be exciting,” Webb continued, “but I didn't know it was going to be this exciting. We all could feel the third game slipping away, and it was so important to get back in the game.
“After losing such a heartbreaker in the second game, it tells you what our team is made of. The girls are great, the best! We just came together and said we're not going to lose (the third game). And we found a way to win it.”
Despite losing her debut as the head volleyball coach at her alma mater, Indians coach Vanessa Jones had plenty to smile about as she was congratulated by many of the wildly enthusiastic Indian fans.
“I just told our girls to walk out of this gym with your heads held high because you turned in a great performance,” said Jones, who coached at William Chrisman last year. “This was our first match, and we didn't know what to expect.
“We got off to that slow start in the first game, and Truman played well – just like all of Denise's teams. Then, we found the energy and desire to come back and win the second game. And the third game was hard-fought, too. If all our matches are this exciting, it's going to be some kind of season.”
Lexi Hart and Becca Jonas also played huge roles for the Patriots as Hart finished with 15 kills and Jonas added five, including the game-winner in the third game.
“This was awesome,” Jonas said, “the most fun ever. I've never been in a match like this or had so much fun.”
“Most fun at Truman, definitely,” said Hart, who skied over the net and put down a kill that caused a Fort Osage fan to feign a fainting spell. His friends then acted like they were reviving him with fans and water.
“They did that?” asked Hart, chuckling. “Wish I would have seen that. I was too busy playing to notice.”
Asia Cole, who led the Indians with six kills and three blocks, took notice.
“I was playing – and I want to say how proud I am of our girls – but I would catch myself watching Lexi,” Cole said. “She's amazing.”
The entire night was amazing.
“I love Vanessa’s kids, I love the Fort Osage fans, I love the heart and soul and guts the two teams showed tonight,” Craig said. “I wish anyone who loved volleyball, or who wanted to see a great match, could have been here tonight.”