ST. PAULS — Mallory Davis stroked 11 aces and combined with Courtney Thompson to win 33 services points for West Bladen on Thursday to hand St. Pauls a straight sets, non-conference loss.
The Lady Knights, who improved to 2-1 on the young season, earned the victory by the scores of 25-21, 25-11 and 25-14.
In the opener, the two teams battled back and forth until West Bladen broke away from a 7-6 edge with nine straight points for a 16-6 margin. That spurt was led by five aces from Davis.
But the Lady Bulldogs never folded. Instead, they manufactured a 14-4 run that knotted the match at 20-20 before the Lady Knights outscored St. Pauls by a 5-1 margin down the stretch for the win.
The loss seemed to take the air out of the Lady Bulldogs.
After the two teams worked a 2-2 tie, West Bladen got two aces and Davis smacked in a pair of kills during an 8-2 spurt that gave the Lady Knights a 10-4 lead. West Bladen followed that up with a 6-1 run to expand the lead to 16-5.
St. Pauls managed to put together a small 5-3 spurt to close the gap to 19-10, but the Lady Knights finished the game with a 6-1 run to take a 2-0 lead.
In the finale, the two teams again opened with a see-saw battle. But West Bladen quickly turned a 5-4 advantage into a 12-6 margin behind three service winners from Davis and a pair of kills by Thompson.
Aces by Thompson helped the Lady Knights take the lead to 18-11 before West Bladen cruised to the win with a 7-3 run down the stretch.
Davis finished the day with 17 services points — 11 coming off aces — along with six kills and three blocks. Thompson was right behind her teammate with 16 services points — including five aces — along with five kills and three blocks.
Taylor Stephens contributed seven assists for the Lady Knights, while the foursome of Codi Pait, Morgan Sweeney, Samantha Gooden and Breanna Jackson each recorded an ace for West Bladen.