Grapeland Defeats Lovelady 25-19, 25-16, 25-14
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandiettes welcomed the Lovelady Lions to town on Tuesday night for a District 22 AA volleyball contest. While the Sandiettes are much improved from last year, the Lady Lions have struggled so far this year.
As the match got underway, it appeared as if the roles were reversed. The Lady Lions appeared to be the team on the upswing while the Sandiettes appeared to be struggling on the court.
The momentum seemed to change, however, midway through the first set following a block at the net by Teira Jones and Tatiyana Bowie.
The shot rejection cut the Lady Lions lead to 15-11 and seemed to turn the tide of the match. Grapeland pulled even with Lovelady as the score reached 18 and then pulled away to win the first set, 25-19.
The first set win propelled the Sandiettes through the next two as they won both the second and third sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-14 to secure the match by a count of 3-0.
The Sandiettes have been notoriously slow starts this year and Tuesday evening was no different. Miscommunication by Grapeland on the Lovelady serve allowed the Lady Lions to jump out to an early 5-1 lead before back-to-back kills from Jones put a brief halt to the Lovelady momentum.
The Lady Lions regrouped quickly, however, and pushed their lead out to seven. With the score 12-5, Bowie stepped up to kill a shot which helped start a Sandiettes’ comeback.
After the previously mentioned block by Jones and Bowie, the two teams engaged in several long rallies – which went in favor of the Sandiettes – as they knotted the score at 18.
After the score moved to 19 all, Hannah Chipman hammered home a spike to give the Sandiettes their first lead of the set. From that point, Cierra Simon took over behind the service line to close out the set and give Grapeland a 1-0 lead in the match.
Grapeland came out in the second set and took an early lead they would never relinquish. With the score tied at six, Chipman spiked a shot to put the Sandiettes up by a score of 7-6. From there, the Sandiettes began to pull away as they led by scores of 14-10 and 19-11, before closing out the second set by a score of 25-16.
The third set was more of the same as the Sandiettes started strong and then held off the Lady Lions for the 25-14 set win and 3-0 match victory.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.