CHARLESTON — Effingham couldn't hit it with their best shot this time.
Needing that one big kill to push them over the hump, every Effingham ball was dug out by the Charleston defense or hit out of bounds in an intense 25-19, 25-27, 25-19 Trojans win over Effingham at Baker Gym.
"I thought Chandler Ramey hit pretty well on the outside," said Effingham coach Laurie Bohnhoff. "At key times, she missed a little bit. Throughout, she hit the ball well. I thought a few other kids struggled though."
Ramey led Effingham with 13 kills, but it was the arm of Charleston's Lauren Nadler, who could not be stopped.
Nadler recorded a match-high 16 kills, which included eight kills in the third set to propel the Lady Trojans to the victory.
"I think we had a rotation there that gave her an opening," said Charleston coach Susan Babers. "Every time she hit, she was able to place it around the block."
The third set was tied up at 18-18, but the junior was going to have the last laugh.
Nadler recorded five of the last seven points for Charleston, hitting any open spot she could find.
"We didn't find her, and with a hitter like that, it is key to get on the block," Bohnhoff said."She hit the ball aggressively, and right on the top of her hands. We didn't do anything about it. We have the height to do so. We just need to figure out how to block it."
Mistakes cost the Lady Hearts in the first set.
Hitting errors dug Effingham a hole. The Lady Hearts allowed Charleston to take leads of 12-4 and 15-8. Effingham was able to pull within five thanks to hitting errors on the part of the Charleston offense, and at one point trailed 21-18.
After a Charleston timeout, Paris Babers came out firing with a couple of kills, and Charleston clinched the victory.
Babers finished the match with 12 kills.
"Defensively, we picked up some balls, but didn't put in them in a good position," Bohnhoff said. "The first and second sets, I thought they hit of our block a ton of times. They were hitting it, and we would just get a touch."
Effingham took their first lead of the match, an 11-10 lead in set two.
After a Charleston timeout, the Lady Trojans scored five straight points with two kills from Morgan Sherwood, and a kill/block combo from Paris Babers.
Effingham fought back to tie it at 15-15, and kept within close range. Ramey then slapped a kill and served up an ace to give Effingham a two point lead. That lead eventually turned into a 22-18 advantage and 24-20.
Then, the improbable happened.
Babers and Sherwood each mustered up kills. Combine that with two hitter errors from Effingham, Charleston knotted the game at 24-all.
All was in good hands as Ramey had the hot hand. The sophomore gave Effingham the one point edge twice before Charleston tied it. Ramey eventually closed it out on a kill that slid right past the right antenna.
"Chandler was hitting the ball very well," Bohnhoff said. "Stephanie Robb gave us a lift. Brittany Beals had a couple of nice plays as well, and Bethany Donaldson came a live a little bit which really helped us out."
With the loss, Effingham drops to 9-10 on the season and 3-3 in the Apollo Conference. This is the first time all season the Lady Hearts have been below .500.
"We just have to get better," Bohnhoff said. "We have to get some consistency in getting good balls to our hitters to swing on, and get some kills."
The win improves Charleston to 11-10 and 3-3 in the Apollo Conference. The win over Effingham avenges a loss in the conference opener at Effingham.
"It was nice to come back to our place and get the win," Babers said. "I wish we would have finished it off in two, but it was nice to see the girls come from behind and get back into the game."
Effingham	19	27	19
Charleston	25	25	25
Effingham: Roberts (2 kills); Donaldson (1 assist, 1 kill); Beals (4 kills); Zerrusen (1 assist, 2 aces); Ramey (13 kills, 1 ace); Nunamaker (1 assist, 3 kills); Totten (9 assists, 1 kill); Robb (2 assists, 3 kills); Weis (9 assists, 1 kill).