DUBLIN –The Lady Eagles of East Bladen came to town and quickly set the Lady Knights of West Bladen on their heels in the opening game of Thursday’s Four County Conference volleyball match. But the home team just as quickly recovered and swept the next three games to take the match 22-25, 25-20, 25-17 and 25-14.
“The girls really came together and got finished tonight,” West Bladen coach Gaye Davis said. “They played with heart.”
East Bladen used an early 5-1 run sparked by a block from Lexie Mendell and took an 8-4 lead in the opening game. But the Lady Knights scored five unanswered points behind the serving of Raegan Davis and reclaimed the lead at 9-8.
Although the lead changed hands a couple more times — including an East Bladen lead of 16-12 —West Bladen stormed back and went on a 10-2 spurt that put the Lady Knights up, 22-18.
But the Lady Eagles didn’t fold. Instead, Ashley Hardin whistled home an ace for East Bladen and went on to rip six straight service winners to close out the first-game win.
The Lady Eagles opened the second game with a 9-4 run, but West Bladen responded with an 11-3 spurt to open a 15-12 lead behind three straight aces by Morgan Schumacher and kills by Kassidy Anderson and Kathryn Schultz. That lead was extended to 24-17 before East Bladen closed to within 24-20, but the Lady Knights closed out the game to knot the match at 1-1.
After the Lady Eagles opened the third game with a 3-1 jump, West Bladen used kills by Laikyn Pait and Davis to spark a 5-0 run for a 6-3 edge.
The game was knotted at 6-6 and 9-9 before West Bladen went on a 7-1 spurt for a 16-10 lead. But East Bladen fought back with a 5-2 burst to close with three — and then the Lady Knights took over completely, reeling off a 7-2 run to finish off the game and take a 2-1 lead.
East Bladen again jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the fourth game, but the Lady Knights came back with a 16-4 explosion that featured two blocks by Schumacher, kills from Schultz and Anderson, and five straight service winners from Patience Parker for a 17-7 lead.
East Bladen closed to within 18-12, but the Lady Knights finished off the match with a 7-5 run.
Schumacher led West Bladen with 10 kills and three aces, while Davis added eight kills and three aces among nine service points. Schultz recorded nine kills and three solo blocks, while Anderson turned in seven kills. Pait had four kills and Logan Autry had three kills.
For East Bladen, Bethany Lesane had 17 service winners, while Hardin had 13 service points and three aces. Alexa Hernandez followed with 12 service winners, while Mendell contributed 11 service points, six kills and five blocks.
West Bladen, which is now 7-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference, will travel to face Union in a conference match on Tuesday. The Lady Eagles, now 3-9 overall and 0-6 in the conference, travels to face Midway in a conference match on Tuesday.
West jayvee wins
The Lady Knights jayvee managed to sweep a pesky East Bladen squad on Thursday, taking the conference match by the scores of 25-21 and 25-22.
Callie Lewis led West Bladen with seven kills, while Elizabeth Allbright contributed six kills and three aces.