JUMPING FOR JOY: Trimble County’s (above, from left) McKenna Ginn, Kayla Greenwood, Kayla Baker, Paige Black, Sydney Weaver and Kate Staples celebrate after completing a game-three comeback to beat Carroll County on Wednesday at home. Carroll County’s Kelly Layton (11, below) attempts to block a shot by Black. The win was Trimble’s 28th-consecutive win in NCKC play since 2010. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
JUMPING FOR JOY: Trimble County’s (above, from left) McKenna Ginn, Kayla Greenwood, Kayla Baker, Paige Black, Sydney Weaver and Kate Staples celebrate after completing a game-three comeback to beat Carroll County on Wednesday at home. Carroll County’s Kelly Layton (11, below) attempts to block a shot by Black. The win was Trimble’s 28th-consecutive win in NCKC play since 2010. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
It appeared for all the world that Trimble County's long conference winning streak was going to be history.

The Raiders, who had already lost one game in lopsided fashion, found themselves down 21-11 in the third and deciding game in their matchup with border rival Carroll County on Wednesday. The visiting Panthers had all of the momentum and the victory seemed imminent.

"I thought it was over," Trimble senior Paige Black said. "I almost started crying."

But as it turned out, the match was far from over. A 9-1 Carroll run ended with a sideout and starting with a Black service ace, Trimble ripped off seven-straight points to get back into the game.

From there, the Raiders took over and pulled away, ending the third game on a 14-2 run to escape with an improbable 25-15, 17-25, 25-23 win to extend their win streak against North Central Kentucky Conference foes to 28.

"I don't know what to say. I'm just glad they never gave up," Trimble coach Ruth Staples said. "I kept telling them, 'ladies, move and talk and don't give up.' I think my leaders, McKenna (Ginn) and Paige (Black) decided we're not going to lose this game and got everybody else up."

Trimble County (3-5, 3-0 NCKC) dominated the first game behind the strong hitting performance by Black. But Carroll County turned the tables starting in the second game with the strong front-court duo of Kelly Layton and Michaela Culver working to negate Black's hitting.

With Black effectively taken out of the game, the Panthers took control. Carroll (2-1, 1-1 NCKC) blew open a one-point game in the second set with a 16-5 run, with many of the points coming off hits or blocks from either Layton or Culver.

The Panthers didn't back down in the third game. After initially going ahead 10-5, Carroll extended its lead to 21-11 and was on the verge of closing out the win.

"I think they just got into our heads," Black said. "They got the first point of the second game then they just rallied. We just let them get to us."

It was at that point that the Raiders either needed to step up their game or accept the inevitable. They decided to step up.

"I didn't want to lose my senior year so I told them to get their heads up and not to get down," Black said. "Just fight back and not give up and do whatever you can to come back."

As it turned out, it was Black that was due to serve once the Raiders finally got the ball back. With memories of two earlier serves that she put into the net still on her mind, Black calmly threw it up and dealt two straight aces to get Trimble back on track.

What followed was a run that saw the momentum quickly swing back to Trimble's side of the gym. After two more points, Kayla Greenwood connected on a kill and Black served another ace to close the gap to 21-18 before a sideout ended the run.

"I had missed two serves earlier in the game," Black said. "I just took a deep breath and served them. I was determined to get them in this time."

Carroll County got the serve back but any hope of extending the lead ended with another Greenwood kill. Kate Staples took the ball from there and the Raiders got another point on a Panther net violation to close the gap to 22-20.

Staples picked up an ace and Greenwood and Kayla Baker teamed up with a big block on Layton to tie the score at 22-22. A Trimble error coming out of a Carroll timeout gave the lead back to the Panthers but the Raiders got the ball back and tied the score on a lifting call.

Baker served the final two points of the game, the last of which fittingly came on a Greenwood kill. With Black negated by Layton and Culver, the Raiders needed another hitter to step up. As it turned out, that other hitter was Greenwood.

"I have five players returning from last year and I was confident that somebody would step up," Ruth Staples said. "I knew they would step up."

Black finished the game with 13 kills and seven blocks, 11-of-13 serving with four aces and 11-of-11 in serve reception. Greenwood had 11 kills and seven blocks. Greenwood was also 5-of-6 serving and 12-of-14 on digs.

Ginn was 9-of-10 serving with two aces, 30-for-30 in sets and had four kills. Baker was 25-for-26 in sets and had five kills, Sydney Weaver was 11-for-11 serving and had 14 digs, Raven Hudson was 11-for-12 serving with four digs.

Culver was 18-for-24 hitting with three kills for Carroll, Layton was 15-for-18 with seven kills and two blocks, Karly Prosser was 20-for-25 hitting with five kills from the outside and Sabrina Young was 7-for-10 hitting with a kill. Brittany Yocum was 7-for-8 serving with two aces and 10 digs.

Ruth Staples said that she was not aware of how long Trimble's conference win streak was until she read Tuesday's Madison Courier. While she is proud of her team's streak, she knows that it will only serve as a target for other teams.

"We saw that article and you can believe that Carroll read the same thing and that's why they were so fired up," Staples said. "People are going to want to end that streak and we're going to have a target on our back."

Carroll County hosts Eminence tonight while Trimble County has a few days off before hosting Williamstown on Tuesday. A win against the Demons will push the Raider streak to 29.

"We know people are out to get us and we know that they want to beat us," Black said. "We're just trying our best to keep that record going."