Tigers Maul Big Reds
SHADYSIDE–As hot as it was inside the Tigers’ Den Tuesday night, Shadyside was even hotter as it swept past Bellaire in high school volleyball action. The Lady Tigers (7-1) prevailed by scores of 25-12, 25-11 and 25-10 in a match that took a little more than an hour to play.
The hosts used excellent serving and strong play at the net to defeat the Big Reds (1-6) for the second time this season.
“My girls played a great three sets. They (the starters) got us a big lead and I was able to put in some of the other girls. That’s great for the team,” Shadyside head coach Cindy Archer said.
All three sets were nearly identical as neither team could manage much in the early going. However, the Tigers broke free from a 3-all deadlock in the first set as Macy Coffland (4) and Riley Brown (7) combined for 11 of the set’s next 13 points for a 14-5 advantage.
With the count 20-11, Coffland reeled off four straight points for set-point, but the Big Reds delayed the celebration. Jillian Joseph sealed the deal with a smash down the far sideline.
The second set saw the teams knotted at 4-all before the Tigers ran off 21 of the next 32 points.
In the final set, Shadyside stormed away from a 5-all reading by tallying 14 of the next 15 markers. Haley Esposito ran off 12 of the points, punctuated by an ace that made it 19-6.
Bellaire scored three straight points for only the second time in the match, but after a Shadyside timeout, the Tigers got the ball back and Brown netted four unanswered points for a 24-10 lead. The Big Reds ensuing serve sailed out of play to end the match.
“She played well tonight,” Archer said of Brown, a junior who stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points (4 aces), nine digs, six kills and a block. “She blocks the ball. She digs it and she spikes it. She gives the other teams problems.”
Esposito paced a balanced attack with 15 points and four digs. Coffland added 11 points (3 aces), nine kills and seven digs.
“Our serves were big tonight,” Archer noted. “We had a lot of 5-6 serves in a row which was really good.”
Others contributing for the Tigers were Madison Davis with four points, 20 assists and seven digs; Joseph with three points, nine digs and half-a-dozen kills; Sarah Teasdale with four points (3 aces), six kills and five digs; and Haleigh Osman with 11 digs.
Leading Bellaire were Haleigh LaMotte with three kills and Michaela Flaherty with six digs.
“We did not show up mentally tonight. We’re better than that. We’ve been playing and practicing better and I just told them yesterday (Monday) how much we were improving,” Bellaire head coach Erica Miller said. “We weren’t moving our feet. We barely even hit the ball. It was one of those night’s to forget and that’s just what I told the girls afterwards.”
Shadyside remains at home today as St. John Central visits. Bellaire returns home to host Buckeye Local.