VINEMONT – St. Bernard shook off mistakes and watched Ashley Duke put on a serving clinic in the tiebreaker of a 5-game set with the Vinemont Lady Eagles Monday evening.
Duke scored every point in a 15-0 triumph that gave St. Bernard a 3-2 edge, coming from behind in this hotly contested match that was played in an hour and 50 minutes.
All evening, Vinemont rallied by converting St. Bernard mistakes into points. The Lady Eagles overcame an 8-point deficit in the opening set to pull it out 25-23. In game three, they trailed by seven, fighting back and winning the set 25-23 for a 2-1 advantage in the series.
St. Bernard, a 25-20 winner in the second set, evened the match by claiming game four 25-23.
Then it was Duke who served well, with support from her team in net play and receiving the ball.
The match began with St. Bernard up 17-9 as Olivia Brown had five consecutive points on serve. Vinemont broke her service and made its comeback with good serving from Maddie Oliver.
Oliver rolled off six in a row to pull Vinemont within one at 17-16. A service point from Andrea Diemert sent the Lady Eagles in front 21-20. St. Bernard was called for four hits on a serve by Sarah Smith that broke the tie, putting Vinemont in front 24-23.
Smith got the final point on serve and the Lady Eagles had momentum for the time being.
Once again, St. Bernard grabbed the lead and held a respectable one. They led 13-5 as Vinemont answered with another run and closed to 24-20 on a service point by Madison Harbison.
But on the next play, the Lady Eagles committed a net foul that resulted in a point for the Lady Saints and they had the win 25-20.
On to game three with the Lady Saints getting an 11-4 lead on five service points by Anna Myers and three from Avy Whaley. It was time for Vinemont to battle back, which the Lady Eagles did.
Behind the serving of Oliver, Sydney Shields and a couple of kills from Smith, the Lady Eagles soared to the lead at 16-15. St. Bernard regained the momentum briefly, leading 23-21 as Vinemont broke service and got the final four points from Oliver as they gained a 2-1 lead in this encounter.
With Myers going strong for the Lady Saints, St. Bernard raced to a 9-1 lead in the fourth set. Vinemont again answered the call with Smith putting them in front 16-15 as the Lady Eagles never surrendered.
St. Bernard capitalized on Vinemont committing a couple of errors on defense and earned a 25-21 triumph. That forced the tiebreaker set between the two.
The Lady Saints won the toss, put the ball into hands of Duke and they needed just seven minutes to end the match.
Duke had a service winner and consecutive aces to make it 7-0 as Vinemont asked for a timeout. After Duke's third ace extended the lead to 10-0, Myers made a save with a volley for a point and it was 11-0.
Whaley got a volley on the next serve from Duke for a 12-0 score and followed it with a kill and the lead was now 13-0.
Duke finished off her quality serves with two on the back line that Vinemont had trouble returning and the Lady Saints had their first victory of the season against the Lady Eagles and won for the first time in a 5-game set.
St. Bernard gets back into 2A, Area 13 play at home Tuesday with Tanner and has a hot West Point team at the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center Wednesday afternoon.
Vinemont will go to West Point Tuesday for a tri-match with the Lady Warriors and Good Hope. They host Carbon Hill in area play Thursday.
In other results Monday, Oakman defeated Hanceville 3-0 in an area match at Lane Horton Gymnasium, and Cordova swept Good Hope 3-0 in area play in Walker County.
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