PREP VOLLEYBALL: Cold Springs takes two at West Point


WEST POINT – No. 4 ranked Cold Springs got tested Tuesday in a volleyball tri-match at Jim Boyd Gymnasium on the West Point campus. The Lady Eagles were taken into a tiebreaking set with Fairview and West Point, coming through when it was necessary.


Cold Springs opened up with a 25-17 victory against Fairview then the Lady Aggies bounced back to take the second set 25-23, forcing a third game to determine the winner.


The Lady Eagles were out to a fast start and went on to claim a 15-5 decision and win the match two games to one.


Several people contributed to the victory for coach Cantrice Voce's Lady Eagles. Keegan Johnson accounted for six points in the first set on serve including an ace while Brittany Hopkins scored four times. Points were earned from aggressive play at the net as Hanna Wilson and Kaleigh Merring were credited for kills and Johnson got a point for her team with a block at the net on the first play of the contest.


Down 14-9 in game two, the Lady Eagles charged back with Kelsey Hester hitting on four straight serves, plus a kill by Hopkins. A net foul on Cold Springs gave Fairview a lift as the Lady Aggies raised the lead to 18-15 and held on to create the third game of a very competitive county confrontation.


Johnson was solid with her serve in game three. She scored nine straight that put Cold Springs into a comfortable position in which they won without Fairview able to make a serious run.


Facing West Point, the Lady Eagles dropped the opener 25-23 then came back to win game two 25-18 and earned a 15-10 triumph in the final set. The match between the two lasted 57 minutes.


West Point had a series of performers in scoring from the service line with Cassie Mariano hitting five in a row to break a 12-12 tie and give them a 17-12 advantage. Coach Regina Jones also got good serves by Olivia Vanderberg, Lillie Burdette and Lexi Bell.


With the game even at 23-23, the Lady Warriors broke service and scored on a kill by Mariano. Then they took the set when Vanderberg scored on serve and an upset was in the making.


Cold Springs trailed in the second set 13-10 when the Lady Eagles answered with a challenge. Hopkins and Wilson set the tone on serves with Hannah Watson earning a point after Merring converted a kill. That made it 20-16.


Johnson then scored the final three points from the service line and the Lady Eagles had tied the match. Game two was completed in 19 minutes.


In the third set, West Point was ahead 3-2 on a kill from Mariano, Cold Springs went ahead 4-3 on a service winner by Wilson.


Wilson would score two more points after that and a couple of good serves by Jillian Keeton extended the Lady Eagle lead to 8-4.


West Point fell behind 13-7 after getting called for a net foul. Kills by Jeri Beasley, Mariano and a service point from Bell brought them within three at 13-10.


The momentum was broken by Cold Springs. Hopkins ripped the ball across court for a kill and a 14-10 margin. Then Johnson continued to serve well, getting it deep that was not able to be returned and the Lady Eagles ran their county record to 2-1 with the victory.


Earlier in the afternoon, West Point faced Fairview that counted in the 5A, Area 14 standings. The Lady Warriors swept in three hard fought battles 25-23, 25-20 and 25-17. The match was completed in an hour and nine minutes.


Game one featured 11 ties and five lead changes. A kill from Vanderberg put West Point in front 24-23 and Vanderberg followed that with a block at the net off a serve from Bell to claim the first set.


The Lady Warriors used serves by Bell, Mariano, Vanderberg and Madison Roberts with kills coming from Bailee Yearwood, Beasley and Mariano in pulling out the second set by a margin of five points.


West Point completed the sweep with Beasley scoring seven on serve and adding three points by kills for an outstanding performance. Mariano was solid throughout the match with her left handed kill that Fairview couldn't defend.


A kill by Mariano broke the Fairview advantage and West Point went up 19-15. Then Beasley took over and the Lady Warriors avenged an early season area loss to the Lady Aggies.


Cold Springs will take part in a quad match Thursday at Good Hope. The Lady Eagles will be joined by the Lady Raiders, Cullman and Holly Pond. The match will get under way on two courts at D.E. Ryan Gymnasium at 4 p.m.


From the junior varsity tri-match Tuesday, West Point topped Fairview two games to one, Fairview swept Cold Springs 2-0 and Cold Springs earned a 2-0 triumph against West Point.