Saturday, September 08, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Consistent play earns NP ladies win at JHS

Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski volleyball team beat rival Jacksonville 3-0 Thursday at JHS to improve its overall record to 2-2 this season. The Lady Falcons controlled the action from midway through game one until late in game three, but overcame the game-three lull to dominate the end of the match and preserve the three-game sweep.

“We were a lot more consistent tonight,” North Pulaski coach Ben Belton said. “Brianna Lyons played extremely well tonight. We passed better. We didn’t make our setter run as much. We just did a lot better. I hope we can build on this and get some team chemistry going. That’s been a big part of the problem so far.”

Jacksonville led halfway through game one. The Lady Red Devils held a 14-12 lead when North Pulaski’s Emily Long took serve. The junior setter served up an ace, then scored four more points on serve to give the Lady Falcons a 17-14 lead and force Jacksonville to call a timeout.

After the break, North Pulaski added one more point before the Lady Red Devils broke serve. Jacksonville scored one point on goal and North Pulaski’s Casey Mullen then served four straight points for a 22-16 lead that the Lady Falcons turned into a 25-18 win in game one.

Long took serve again to start game two and reeled off three straight points. The Lady Falcons never trailed in the 25-16 win.

Game three was back and forth in the early going. The game was tied at 11 until the Lady Red Devils reeled off four straight points on Bailea Mitchell’s serve. The streak finally stopped when Long got in position to set up a hit, but dunked it behind her head and into an empty spot in Jacksonville’s side of the court to make it 15-12 Lady Devils.

The two teams traded side outs until the score was 18-15. Mullen took serve again for North Pulaski and the Lady Falcons scored seven consecutive points on serve, including two aces by Mullen. North Pulaski won game three 25-20.

Lyons led all players with seven kills. For Jacksonville, Mitchell led with six kills despite being the smallest player on the floor.

North Pulaski improved to 2-1 in conference play while Jacksonville fell to 1-2.

The Lady Red Devils travel to McClellan on Tuesday then host Helena-West Helena Central on Thursday.

North Pulaski has three matches next week. The Lady Falcons travel to White Hall for a non conference matchup on Monday. They’ll host Mills in a 5A Central match on Tuesday then travel to Little Rock Christian Academy on Thursday.