After letting a couple of big leads slip away at a recent tournament, Millard South finished what it started Tuesday night against Gretna.

The host Patriots defeated the Dragons 25-20, 20-25, 16-25, 25-22, 15-8 in the match between Top 10 teams. Millard South (No. 9) moved to 9-5 while Gretna (No. 4) fell to 8-2.

“We made some tactical adjustments to give ourselves a chance,’’ Patriots coach Jaisa Poppleton said. “And we were just in the zone that fifth set.’’

Poppleton said she was happy to see her team win two close sets before dominating the fifth. Millard South was unable to finish at times Saturday while competing in the tough Millard North Invitational.

“We led one set 23-15 and lost and led another 24-17 and lost that one, too,’’ she said. “We didn’t let that happen tonight.’’

The Patriots started strong, edging away late in the first set for a 25-20 win. But the Dragons stormed back to take the second set by the same score, finishing with a kill by junior Avery Kallman.

“I think that was the best set we’ve played all year,’’ Gretna coach Mike Brandon said. “And then we kept it going in the next one.’’

The Dragons grabbed a 2-1 edge in the match by winning the third set by nine points. Senior Lydia Yost had four kills and three aces to lead the way.

The fourth set was close until the Patriots scored four straight points to break a 17-17 tie. Gretna got within a point but never could tie it again, and a kill by junior Elyse Globe forced a fifth set.

“I felt pretty confident after we won that fourth one,’’ Poppleton said. “We got the momentum back.’’

The Patriots rode it into the 15-point fifth set, opening a 7-2 lead. That advantage grew to seven points at 14-7, and senior Maggie Madej ended it with a well-placed kill deep into the corner.

“They served us tough in that fifth set,’’ Brandon said. “They went on some scoring runs, and we couldn’t get things turned around.’’

Paige Fixemer paced the Patriots with 22 kills, including four in the final set. Globe and Laci Abendroth each had 11 kills, Maddie MacTaggart added eight and Madej had six.

Sophomore setter Makayla Fleming dished out 53 assists — 11 in the final set.

Yost pounded 15 kills for the Dragons while Skylar McCune had 14 and Emma Prentice 13. Senior setter Lauren Anderson had 52 assists.

“Give credit to Millard South for battling back,’’ Brandon said. “They defended their turf.’’

Gretna (8-2).........................20 25 25 22 8

At Millard South (9-5)...........25 20 16 25 15

G (kills-aces-blocks): Skylar McCune 14-2-0, Kennedy Schaecher 0-1-0, Lydia Yost 15-3-0, Avery Mackling 0-2-0, Shaina Russell 3-0-0, Lauren Anderson 3-1-0, Avery Kallman 8-0-2, Emma Prentice 13-0-1, Brooklyn Schuler 6-0-0.

MS: Maddie MacTaggart 8-0-0, Sam Steele 0-1-0, Paige Fixemer 22-3-1, Laci Abendroth 11-0-4, Audrey Behrens 0-2-0, Elyse Globe 11-0-0, Makayla Fleming 3-1-0, Maggie Madej 6-0-2, Kenley Montagne 0-2-0.

Set assists: G 58 (Anderson 52, Schaecher 5, Russell 1); MS 53 (Fixemer 53).

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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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