By KIM NORTH
For The Intelligencer
BELLAIRE - Bridgeport's Bulldogs went to Bellaire Thursday night licking their wounds from a season-opening sweep at the hands of St. Clairsville a night earlier in prep volleyball action.
They left the All-American Village licking their chops following a crisp, three-game sweep of the Big Reds (1-1) by scores of 25-13, 25-14 and 25-22 in exactly 1 hour.
"We communicated better," said first-year Bridgeport coach Ron Kelly. "Not consistently, but they did at times. That's one of the factors, in terms of volleyball, you need to communicate as a team ... talk to each other."
However, there were other aspects of the game that had the Bulldogs' coach raving.
"Our service and receiving was really good," he added. "Overall, I was pretty pleased."
After watching Bellaire take a 1-0 lead in the first set on an ace by junior Talia Duffy, Bridgeport (1-1) reeled off 12 of the next 16 points to take a commanding advantage. Senior Maclaine Murad got the Bulldogs off to a quick start with three straight service points.
Bellaire sliced the deficit to 12-8, but Bridgeport answered with a 7-0 run - fueled by six Cheyenne Flower points - and finished the set on a 13-8 spree as the Big Reds were sloppy around the net.
The second set, which took only 17 minutes, was deadlocked at 5-5 before the Bulldogs chewed off 7 of 9 points for a 12-7 lead.
Following two points by the Big Reds, Bridgeport reeled off four straight to complete an 11-4 spurt, prompting veteran Bellaire head coach Kaye Sechrest to call a timeout.
The brief stoppage in play worked for two points, but Bridgeport ended things on a 9-5 run. Serving by Murad and Amber Millard sparked the visitors late in the second set.
Bellaire made things interesting in the third set, which was tied nine times, the last being at 22-22, before a thunderous kill by Flowers, and a nicely placed shot by Murad left the Bulldogs with match-point. A long return by Bellaire ended things.
"They came in here and kind of had their way with us," Sechrest saidd. "My girls were not ready to play. They did not bump well and Bridgeport played well.
"What can you say, they took it to us. We just weren't ready."
Murad led all scorers in the match with 14 points. She also charted six digs, five aces, a kill and an assist. Flowers backed her teammate with a dozen points, including four aces. She added seven digs, five kills, a block and an assist. Millard donated eight points, six digs and a pair of kills, while Briana Massey finished with four points and five kills. Alyssa Crook had 17 assists and five points.
Leading the Big Reds in scoring was Cari Crozier with nine points.
Tori Duffy chipped in seven, while Talia Duffy, Morgan Runyan and Hunter Eden all had six.
Edison d. Steubenville Catholic 25-23, 25-23, 25-19
RICHMOND -The Edison volleyball team opened the season in grand fashion against Jefferson County rival Catholic Central in a matchup between OVAC Tournament winners from last season.
Last year, the Wildcats won the Class 5A title in the tournament held at Big Red, while the Crusaders won the 2A title in the tournament held at Brooke.
Individually for Edison, Katelyn Pollock collected eight points, six digs, 22 kills and one block; Jackie Wiedaman added five kills, 13 points and three digs; and Caitlin Brenstuhl tallied 54 assists, two digs and four kills. Also, Maddie Williamson delivered 13 points and seven kills; Cassidy Jarvis recorded 11 kills and four blocks and Kalee Neal wound up with eight digs and four points. Finally, Alexis Gill finished with five kills.
Leading the way for Catholic Central, Robyn Runkle recorded 18 points and eight assists; Megan Lloyd totaled 11 points and nine assists and Maddy Gulan netted 13 points and six blocks. Also, Monica Rigaud delivered eight blocks and seven kills; Monica Fischer finished with four points and four digs and Logan Colabella collected three kills.
Wheeling Park 152, University 161, Brooke 179
WELLSBURG - Cole Hand shot a 2-over-par 37 in leading Wheeling Park to a tri-match victory against University ant Brooke at Highland Springs Golf Course.
Cale Wheeler and Eric Wirth each shot 37 for the Hawks and Logan Lojszczyk shot 39 to lead the Bruins.
Beaver Local 178, Edison 184, Oak Glen 225
EAST SPRINGFIELD - Co-medalist Joey Newlin shot 41 in leading Beaver Local to a tri-match victory against Oak Glen and Edison at Spring Hills Golf Course.
Edison's Jimmy Marsh tied Newlin at 41 for co-medalist honors. Leading the way for Oak Glen was Trey Reese with a 51.
Steubenville Catholic Central 167, Meadowbrook 173, Buckeye Trail 191, Fort Frye 219
LORE CITY - Austin Meronoff shot a match-best 34 in leading Steubenville Catholic to a quad victory against Meadowbrook, Buckeye Trail, and Fort Frye at Salt Fork State Park Golf Course.
Rounding out the Crusaders, who improved to 18-4, were Kevin Wells (44), Josh Merriman (44), Mike Manfresca (45), Nick Ivkovich (46), and Jason Bensur (47).
Nate Frencik led the Colts with a 41, Jed Burga's 42 was tops for the Warriors, and Brad Martin and Devin Brooker each shot 49 to lead the Cadets.