Tuesday, September 01, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Devil volleyball gets sweep of Patriots

Leader sportswriter

After a fairly close first game, the Jacksonville High School volleyball team went on to comfortably sweep Little Rock Parkview in Monday’s nonconference match at the Devils’ Den by scores of 25-20, 25-8 and 25-15.

The final score of game one ended up being closer than the game itself actually was. Jacksonville jumped out to a 13-6 lead to start. Parkview closed the gap to 15-12 at one point, but that was as close as the Lady Patriots would get the rest of the way.

Jacksonville hit the 20-point mark in the first game on a well-placed tip by Emily Lovercheck, which made the score 20-13. The Lady Patriots made it to 20 points just before the Lady Red Devils got to 25, with the score 24-20, but the hosts ended the game the next volley on a kill by Alana Harris.

In game two, Jacksonville got off to an even better start. Lovercheck served the team to a 6-1 lead, and the Lady Devils pushed their lead to double digits for the first time at 15-5 on a kill by Terionna Stewart.

From there, Jacksonville coasted to victory by outscoring Parkview 10-3 down the stretch, which set the final score of game two and allowed the Lady Red Devils to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

“It took the girls a while to warm up,” said Jacksonville coach Whitney Abdullah. “That’s been our problem lately. They have to kind of get acclimated to the game, but once they wake up and concentrate, they really can do anything. They’ve worked hard all summer and they showed it tonight.”

Lovercheck started game three at the serving line, and she served consecutive aces before Parkview broke serve. The Lady Red Devils led 4-1, but the Lady Pats scored the next three points to tie the game at 4-4.

Jacksonville responded with a 9-1 run to gain a 13-5 advantage, forcing Parkview coach Lahoma Howard to call timeout. In that 9-1 run, Jacksonville had three ace serves by Kym House and two by Rebecca Brown.

The Lady Red Devils took a nine-point lead, 18-9, on an ace by Lovercheck, and shortly after, the hosts took a double-digit lead at 20-10. Parkview scored the next point, but Jacksonville scored again to push its lead back to 10.

Jacksonville’s lead grew to 11 on a corner kill by Brown. Lovercheck picked up an assist on that volley, which made the score 23-12. Brown set up game point with an ace on the next serve, but Parkview scored the next three points to make it a 24-15 game.

Stewart, though, ended the game and the match on the next volley with a kill at the middle of the net, set up by Lovercheck, who earned another assist. Making the right set and attacking at the net is something Jacksonville did well Monday, and it’s something the team’s been working hard on since summer.

“That’s something we hit hard this summer,” Abdullah said. “We broke down everything and really started from scratch. The girls have really stepped up to the plate and have really put the groundwork in and have really worked hard.”

Stewart and Brown led all players Monday with six kills. Brown also had a match-high five aces. Lovercheck had a match-high eight assists to go with her four aces. House also had four aces.

With Monday’s win, Jacksonville improved its record to 2-5 this season.