Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Fair no match for Lady Titans

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville volleyball team won its third conference match at home on Thursday, handling J.A. Fair with ease in a 3-0 sweep. The other two of Jacksonville’s conference wins have seen lapses in focus after gaining a 2-0 lead, and that was a point of emphasis for Thursday’s game with the overmatched Lady War Eagles.

Jacksonville almost lost game three in the league opener at Hall, and then did lose game three in a 3-1 win at Parkview, the match before Fair, but there was no letdown in game three on Thursday.

“Really, I thought we could’ve been a little more focused at the very beginning than we were,” said Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby. “We had six missed serves in the first game, and we addressed that in the huddle. We settled down after that and played pretty well. When you play a team that’s not going to put much pressure on, you just have to settle down and not make mistakes. We didn’t give up more than 11 in any game, so that was pretty good.”

Scores in the match were 25-11, 25-9 and 25-11.

Each game featured at least one long hold serve and a lot of Lady Titan aces. Jacksonville actually trailed 5-2 early in game one thanks to missed serves miss-hits on swings. Junior Chandee Wesley then took serve until Jacksonville led 10-5. She had two aces while Aaliyah Burks and Basia Brown added kills during the rally.

Later in the game, senior exchange student Federic Bossi drilled three-consecutive aces to go from 20-10 to 23-10 before she served wide.

Lindsey Holt then added a kill and Brittney Eskridge served up another ace to end game one.

The Lady Titans never trailed again, although a series of errors turned a 6-2 lead into a 6-6 tie momentarily in game two. Eskridge then got a kill to halt a three-point rally by Fair, and Jacksonville reeled off the next 11 points in a row on sophomore Blair Jones’ serve.

A Bossi kill was followed by a Jones ace, a lift violation by Fair and two more aces by Jones. Eskridge then got another kill before Jones reeled off three more aces in a row before finally serving long.

Jacksonville immediately broke serve, and Bossi then served six-straight points, including four more aces. Jones had two kills for the other two points of the Bossi rally.

Wesley took serve to start game three and immediately set the tone with three-straight aces.

The Lady Titans finished the match with 32 total aces. Bossi and Jones had eight apiece. Wesley had seven, Holt five while Eskridge and Skyra Gulley had two each.

There weren’t many opportunities for kills, but Brown, Eskridge and Jones had four each while Bossi and Holt had two apiece.

Jacksonville (3-5, 3-1) played at archrival Sylvan Hills last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that match in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.