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Lady Eagles bounce back to beat EC

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
If their opening match loss to Opp made the W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles volleyball team wonder whether or not its brake system worked, the second match victory over visiting Escambia County helped answer those doubts Thursday.
W.S. Neal halted a four-game slide to start the season and gave new coach Chuck Riddle his first win with the 25-8, 25-20, 21-25, 27-25 victory.
W.S. Neal (1-4) suffered a 25-20, 25-20, 25-10 setback to Opp in the tri-match opener.
Serve and receiving mistakes plagued the Lady Blue Eagles throughout the match, as they gave Opp 10 points through missed serves and 22 points through Opp service aces
The receiving mistakes especially plagued W.S. Neal in the third and final set where its defense allowed 10 aces. That included nine aces by Opp's Jessica Register in a 15-point string to start the set.
The sluggish finish followed what had been a promising start for W.S. Neal. The Lady Blue Eagles used five points from Katelin Hulley, two points and two kills by Maggie Crutchfield and two points with an ace by Jamica Thomas to take a 14-9 lead.
Over the next three rotations the Lady Bobcats reversed their fortunes with a decisive 15-5 surge.
The second set followed a somewhat similar pattern. W.S. Neal had an 11-10 lead after an ace by Jessica Lambert and still had a deadlock as late as 14-14 before an 8-3 run by the Lady Bobcats put the visitors in the driver's seat.
The Lady Blue Eagles travel to Flomaton Tuesday. Action gets underway with the junior varsity game at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity contest.