Lady Eagles overcome slow start, take volleyball win at Andalusia

Published 11:00 am Friday, September 22, 2023

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Pleasant Home battled back from a slow start and then rallied late for a 3-1 win at Andalusia in a varsity volleyball match on Thursday, Sept. 21.

The Lady Eagles, ranked fourth in the state, moved to 12-5 on the season with a 25-21, 25-11, 23-25, 25-19 win. The Lady Bulldogs fell to 7-13 for the year.

“It’s tough to be down and have to claw your way out especially at this level. I thought that showed a lot of grit and determination on our girls’ part to come back tonight. We controlled those first two sets once we got in our rhythm and flow. We let up a little bit in the third set with unforced errors and a mental breakdown and were committing service errors in the fourth when we should not be. We regrouped after a timeout and found a way. That’s a big win for us, playing in this atmosphere and taking the W against that. I’m really proud of my girls,” PHS Head Coach Tony Wilson said.

Two aces from Eliana Forry and a kill by Molly Capps helped Andalusia open up a 7-0 lead in the first set. Addi Hughes served four aces as Pleasant Home responded and pulled within one at 7-6. An attack error gave the visitors their first lead at 10-9, but back-to-back kills off Taya Newton evened the score at 11-11. Meredith Wilson used two aces for an 18-15 lead, but Cape Merrell brought the Lady Bulldogs even at 19-19 with a block. Haley Ward delivered a kill for a 23-20 lead and then had an ace as the Lady Eagles took a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Eagles shot out to a 4-1 lead in the second frame before Mallory McGlamory had an ace and gave the Lady Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage. After falling behind by two, Kamari Gay had a block and cut the hosts’ deficit to 8-7. A kill by Hughes followed by an ace from Wilson pushed the lead to 14-9. From that point, Pleasant Home took control and scored 11 of the final 13 points. Hughes scored a kill and an ace, and Bri Hall had a block for an 18-10 lead. Ward added two kills down the stretch and put Andalusia in a 2-0 deficit.

As the sweep loomed, Wilson started the third set with consecutive aces. Merrell came up with a pair of kills, while Capps added an ace for a 6-3 lead. Andalusia pushed its lead to 10-8, but Ivy Youngblood hit two aces and capped a 5-0 run to swing momentum back the other way. After Pleasant Home took a 16-12 cushion, Merrell knocked two more kills and sliced the gap to two at 16-14. After two ties, Gay hit a big kill, and Newton scored an ace for a 21-19 lead. Merrell put the score at 23-20 with a kill until Wilson tied it at 23-23 with two aces. The Lady Eagles were unable to get the sweep when Forry had an ace that saw the Lady Bulldogs cut the match score to 2-1.

Newton had a big kill for a 5-1 lead in the fourth set. Ward kept the Lady Eagles close at 6-5 before an ace from Katie Kennedy and kill by Capps pushed the lead to 12-9. Newton blistered another kill as the score swelled to 19-13 and put the Lady Bulldogs on the brink of forcing a fifth set. Andalusia could not draw even after Pleasant Home called timeout and fought back for a 12-0 match-closing run. Wilson and Hall each had two kills, while three aces by Ward in the final 12 points wrapped up the match.

Both teams are back in action next week. Andalusia travels to T.R. Miller on Monday, Sept. 25, while Pleasant Home hosts Brantley in an area match on Tuesday, Sept. 26.