The edges of the seats inside Greenwood Christian’s gymnasium have officially been broken in for this school year.

Credit Thursday night’s volleyball match against Whiteland, a five-set marathon complete with enough dramatics and momentum shifts to last a season.

Led by the 16 kills of junior outside hitter Kennedi Morrison and Addie Stoll’s serving down the stretch, the visiting Warriors escaped with a 25-15, 20-25, 25-17, 25-27, 15-9 triumph to even their record at 1-1.

Whiteland coach Jill Cain was happy with her team’s improvement after losing at Triton Central in three sets only two nights earlier.

“We’ve definitely been working on mental toughness, and finishing the play in practice,” Cain said. “They’re just learning to work together and not crumble after a mistake. We’ve been setting small goals, and we did that more tonight.

“We spent a lot of time yesterday at practice just talking about what we can capitalize on.”

Greenwood Christian led early in the opening set, but the Warriors charged ahead to lead by as many as 10 points to take hold of the early momentum. It was short-lived, however, as the Cougars jumped out to a 6-1 advantage in the second and continued to keep Whiteland at arm’s length.

The squads then swapped sets, the Warriors rallying to claim the third and GCA returning the favor in a thrilling fourth by overcoming a 24-21 deficit to force a deciding set.

Greenwood Christian sent the home crowd into a frenzy by going up, 4-1, but the Warriors, their backs firmly against the wall, collected themselves, eventually tying the score at 5-5 after a pair of kills courtesy of junior Ashlyn Ricketts.

This time, Whiteland didn’t allow for a Cougars rally.

Senior Haley Kunz produced a service ace that made it 7-5 before GCA, in a final burst of momentum, tied it at 7-all.

From there, the 5-foot-7 Morrison contributed two of her kills and Stoll served three of her six aces. Freshman middle hitter Sophia Dyer ended the suspense with a two-handed block.

“Honestly, I feel like we just had a lot better energy tonight, and we worked well together,” Morrison said. “In the fifth set, we just leaned on our teammates, worked together and knew we wanted to win. And so we fought for it.”

Ricketts finished with seven kills and a pair of aces for the Warriors; Amberlee McClung had four aces of her own, with Dyer adding five kills.

Greenwood Christian, which opened the season under first-year coach Grace Woolsey, was led by senior outside hitter Olivia Shingleton’s 13 kills and four service aces. Sophomore Faith Kresge had seven kills.

Both teams return to action Saturday, with Whiteland taking part in a tournament at Kokomo while the Cougars participate in the Southport Invitational.