Rough debut for new WSN coach as Lady Eagles fall to Andalusia

Published 10:31 am Sunday, August 27, 2006

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
One game may not tell all, but it is enough to tell W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles volleyball coach Britney Shelly the areas where her team needs to get better.
The host Andalusia Lady Bulldogs spoiled Shelly's coaching debut Thursday when they rolled to a 25-16, 25-6, 25-14 victory.
One of the first areas Shelly will address is her team's serve/receive. The Lady Bulldogs scored 20 service aces, 11 of which came in the opening set.
W.S. Neal led in each set, but each was brief at 1-0.
W.S. Neal's best surge of the day came near the midway point of the first set. Andalusia had a 9-4 edge when a defensive point and two service points by Katelin Hulley narrowed the gap to 9-7.
The set started to slip away when Caitlen Edmonson reeled off a string of five straight points, four of which were aces, that extended the home team's lead to 15-7.
The lead later hit double digits when an ace by Morgen Batty made it 21-11.
A pair of points by Erica Cardwell with the aid of a kill and a tipped ball by Maggie Crutchfield narrowed the gap to 22-14, but that was as close as W.S. Neal could get.
Set two was pretty much secured on Andalusia's opening service when Deanna Strong reeled off 13 straight points and gave her team a 14-1 lead.
The Lady Blue Eagles had just one offensive point in that set, which was recorded by Cardwell.
The third set started much like the second one. A six-point string by Holley Bass and four more points in a row by Strong gave the Lady Bulldogs an 11-2 lead.
Andalusia ran that edge up to 15-3 and later 17-4. It never dropped below single digits the rest of the way, although a late defensive kill and service point by Caitlyn Blackman narrowed the gap to its closest moment at 18-8.
W.S. Neal's junior varsity also had its share of struggles, as it opened its season with a 25-5, 25-9 loss.
The Lady Blue Eagles will try to right the ship Monday when they travel to Jay, Fla. Play starts with the junior varsity match at 4 p.m. W.S. Neal is also on the road Tuesday at Monroe County. That action starts with the junior varsity game at 4:30 p.m.