Eastside took advantage of 21 service aces, including four in the fifth and deciding set, to take a 3-2 nondistrict volleyball win over Wise County rival Wise Central in front of the Eastside student body.
LADY SPARTANS BATTLE BACK
In front of a loud and supportive student body, Eastside (2-4) won the first two sets but dropped the next two as the school day came to a close and most of the student cheering section left the Eastside gym.
With the gym nearly empty after Eastside students left, the Lady Spartans battled back to win the fifth set and take the 25-11, 25-23, 20-25, 17-25, 16-14 victory.
The win in the fifth set came with Eastside overcoming a strong frontline game from the Lady Warriors.
Central (5-2) had more than 30 kills in the contest, including six in the fifth set — five alone from senior Megan VanDyke.
VanDyke finished with 16 kills and four blocks for the Lady Warriors, and Savana Edwards added 13 kills.
Central also got 32 assists and seven digs from Caitlynn Maggard and 19 digs from Hannah McAmis.
While Central leaned on its strong game upfront, Eastside used its strong service game to keep it in the contest.
Cloey Bailey and Tavi Sensabaugh scored seven aces apiece in the contest.
“We’ve been trying to work on our serves quite a bit. The last time we played them we missed 19. So we’ve been focusing on serving, and we’re going to have to keep focusing on serving,” said Eastside coach Brianne Bailey.
The Lady Spartan coach said the experience of playing in front of the student body was a good event for her team.
“It’s pretty fun. We did it in front of Central, and now we did it here. It’s just fun for the kids,” she said.
Central first-year coach Jessica Sturgill said she was happy with the way her team battled back in the third and fourth sets after dropping the first two to the Lady Spartans.
“We just made a lot of unforced errors in those first two sets, and they were able to build on those,” said Sturgill. “Our big problem was our service game. We missed a lot of serves.”
Eastside’s Anna Whited led the Lady Spartans attack with 13 kills, while Eliza Johnson had 22 assists and eight digs and Kacie Jones finished with 17 digs.