ELIZABETHTOWN — Courtney Thompson, Mallory Davis and Taylor Stephens all but carried the Lady Knights of West Bladen to a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22 and 25-19 volleyball win over county rival East Bladen High on Thursday.
The West Bladen trio combined to serve up 39 winners, while Thompson and Davis slammed 31 kills en route to the Four County Conference win.
The Lady Eagles got out to a quick start in the match and took leads of 7-4, 15-11 and 19-16 before West Bladen went on an 9-1 streak to claim the first game.
East Bladen again struck fast in the second game, racing out to a 9-3 lead behind four straight service winners by Miller Heustess and two kills from Abbey Norris. The two teams traded the next eight points each for a 17-11 Lady Eagles lead, but a trio of service winners by Thompson helped pull West Bladen to within 20-17 and Codi Pait smoked an ace to spark a 4-0 run by the Lady Knights that gave them a 22-21 edge. East Bladen, however, never folded and ended the game with a 5-2 run to even the match at 1-1.
In the third game, it was West Bladen out to the fast start. Thompson helped serve up a 6-2 lead before the Lady Knights w ent on an 11-6 run for a 17-8 advantage. The Lady Eagles, however, turned the tables and went on a 13-4 run that knotted the game at 21-21. A combined trio of kills by Thompson and Davis helped West Bladen close out the game with a 4-1 run.
In the fourth and final game, Stephens opened the scoring with a pair of aces and four straight service winners to give the Lady Knights a 4-0 lead. But East Bladen countered with a 6-2 run to even the game at 6-6. Moments later, with West Bladen leading 9-8, Davis launched an ace to ignite a 5-0 Lady Knights run and Stephens followed shortly after with four straight winners to give West Bladen a 22-13 edge. East Bladen reeled off four straight points as part of a 6-1 streak, but Davis pounded a pair of kills to end the game and match for West Bladen.
For the Lady Knights, who are now 7-6 overall and 5-2 in the conference, Davis led the team with 18 kills. She also had 15 service points, two aces and two blocks. Thompson contributed 13 kills, 11 service winners, two aces and two blocks. Stephens had 13 service points and Morgan Sweeney had seven kills.
For the Lady Eagles, who are now 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the conference, Norris recorded 16 kills, 15 service points and two aces. Teammate Lacey Suggs had five kills.
— In Dublin on Thursday, the Lady Knights just missed a clean sweep of Wallace-Rose Hill in Four County Conference action, instead settling for an 8-1 win.
In singles action, Josie Ludlum took a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 1 for West Bladen, followed by a tough 7-5, 7-5 win at No. 2 by Alicia Avellandea.
After dropping a match at No. 3 singles, the Lady Knights got a 6-2, 6-4 win from Tatianna Sturgis at No. 4; a 6-0, 6-4 win from Alanna Ludlum at No. 5; and a 6-4, 6-4 win from Amber Long at No. 6.
In doubles action, West Bladen swept the three matches — led by the tandem of Josie Ludlum and Avellaneda, who took hard-fought 9-7 win at No. 1. That was followed by an 8-2 win at No. 2 from Madison Staton and Alanna Ludlum, and an 8-1 win at No. 3 by Sturgis and Long.
West Bladen improves to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference.