Saturday, September 10, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville wins thriller over Patriots

Leader sports editor

The Lady Titan volleyball team came out on the winning end of one of the most exciting matches in the state on Tuesday, beating Parkview 3-2 at JHS to earn its second victory of the season. Scores in the match were 25-19, 19-25, 21-25, 30-28 and 15-13.

“These girls showed more fight, and more heart than any time since I’ve been with them,” said Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby. “It was a privilege to be a part of this with them. They were down two sets to one, and 23-18, and they just fought. I told them, they have to do this. I can believe in them all I want, but they have to believe they can go out there and make that comeback and win it. And they went out there and did it. I’m so proud of them all.”

In the deciding game five, Parkview took a 10-8 lead with four-straight points, but Aaliyah Burks took serve for Jacksonville and served three-straight points, including one ace, giving the Lady Titans an 11-10 advantage. Jacksonville senior Elizabeth Brown served three more points, giving the Lady Titans four set points. Parkview took away three of them with three-straight, but Jacksonville won the match with a side out to move to 2-1 in the 5A/6A District 4.

Game four was even more exciting. Jacksonville had to win it to force a game five, and was in a desperate way when it trailed 23-18 and 24-21.

Down 23-18, Titan sophomore Basia Brown took serve and got three points back before Parkview broke. That put the Lady Patriots on serve with two match points, but Jacksonville broke back with a kill by junior Rebecca Brown.

That made the score 24-22, and Lindsey Holt then took serve, and served up three-consecutive points, including an ace that put Jacksonville in front 25-24 and gave them a set point.

“Lindsey has a powerful serve and she can be deceiving,” Jacoby said. “People look at her and think she isn’t going to be that powerful, so that’s a good weapon to have.”

The two teams rallied back and forth until Parkview took a 28-27 lead. That’s when Jacksonville scored three-straight to win the game and stay alive.

After a side out, Rebecca Brown aced Parkview with her first serve, and Jacksonville won a rally on set point to make it 2-2 and force the tiebreak set.

Blair Jones and Savannah McKinney led Jacksonville in its game-one win. Jacksonville scored six points on Jones’ serve and five on McKinney’s. Rebecca Brown added three kills in the set while McKinney had two.

“We’re working on spreading the ball around and getting more and more people involved,” Jacoby said. “Savannah stepped up and had a great match. I communicated a lot with (setter) Elizabeth during the match on where to go with it, and she’s getting better and better.”

McKinney added three more kills in game two, but Jacksonville’s service game was off. The Lady Titans never scored more than two consecutive points on serve, and that only three times. Meanwhile, Parkview’s Lizeth Vargas served six-straight from trailing 6-5 to a 10-6 Parkview lead. Later, she served three more in a row, including two aces, to extend Parkview’s lead from 20-18 to 23-18.

In game four, it was Shacora Cooper who scored nine points on serve to lead Parkview. Four of those came late, and pulled the Lady Patriots out of a 20-19 deficit and into a 23-20 lead.

Pulaski Academy and Little Rock Christian are both 3-0 and share the league lead. Jacksonville, Maumelle and Sylvan Hills are all tied at 2-1 while Parkview, J.A. Fair and Hall High remain winless at 0-3.

Jacksonville added an easy road win over J.A. Fair on Thursday to move to 3-5 overall and in 3-1 conference play. The Lady Titans will host rival Sylvan Hills on Tuesday.