Lady Eagles make some history with first victory against Flomaton
Published 11:44 am Monday, September 11, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
It was arguably the best win the W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles volleyball program has ever had.
Then again, considering the program has only beaten three different opponents (Escambia County, Monroe County ad Thomasville) in four plus seasons of competition, there has not been a lot to choose from in that department.
The Lady Blue Eagles pulled out an epic struggle Tuesday when they outlasted the visiting Flomaton Lady Hurricanes in a five-set marathon 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 11-25, 15-8.
Granted, Flomaton fell to 0-4 with the loss and bares little resemblance to the squad that topped 20 wins a year ago. That part of the equation did not matter to W.S. Neal first-year coach Britney Shelly.
The W.S. Neal skipper will be the first to admit her team probably had to work a lot harder for the win than it probably should have. The Lady Blue Eagles could have easily won the match in straight sets. W.S. Neal, which won two of the first three sets, squandered a five-point lead in set two and still led as late as 23-22.
W.S. Neal's inability to close out the Lady Hurricanes in quick fashion began in the opening set. A five-point string by Katelin Hulley and a four-point run by Caitlyn Blackman sparked W.S. Neal to a 19-8 lead.
Flomaton battled back and trimmed the gap to just four points on three occasions before a pair of points by Maggie Crutchfield closed out the set.
A pair of aces in a five-point run by Erica Cardwell got the Lady Blue Eagles off and running with a 7-2 lead in set two.
Flomaton, which dished out 24 aces in the match, reeled in seven to rally in the second set. Four of those came from April Cayson.
Yet it was a defensive point that tied the set at 23-23 and two points from Jessica Morris that gave Flomaton the set and tied the match.
Set three bared a lot of similarities to set one. A seven-point run by Cardwell and four more by Jamica Thomas helped the Lady Blue Eagles race out to a 13-2 lead.
A combined seven aces and 11 aces by Jennifer Morris and Jessica Morris helped the lady Hurricanes narrow the gap all the way down to just 24-22 before a missed serve gave W.S. Neal the win.
Flomaton never trailed in set four and made sure early in the set the match would go the distance. The Lady Hurricanes charged out to a 12-4 advantage and scored the last seven points on the serving of Wright.
Flomaton had a 5-4 lead in the abbreviated fifth set before a defensive point and a pair of aces by Hulley put the Lady Blue Eagles ahead for good.
W.S. Neal had just an 11-8 lead when a defensive kill by Maggie and three points by Thomas finished things off.
W.S. Neal's junior varsity lost to Flomaton 25-18, 25-21. Amanda Crawford had a team high seven points.