PREP VOLLEYBALL: West Point defeats pair of Lady Eagles teams on the road; Cold Springs defeats Sumiton Christian

Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune

The Lady Warriors break the huddle coming out of a timeout during Thursday night’s win over Cold Springs. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN – The Cold Springs Lady Eagles hosted West Point and Sumiton Christian for a tri-match Thursday, and all three matchups were hard-fought, competitive matches. The Lady Warriors defeated Cold Springs 25-21 and 25-18 in the first match of the evening and edged out Sumiton Christian in three sets. West Point dropped the first set 25-20 but came back to win the next two sets 25-17 and 15-4 to complete its sweep of the tri-match. Cold Springs bounced back in its match with Sumiton Christian and put them away 25-18 and 25-20 to win the match.

In West Point’s first set against Cold Springs, sophomore Alexia Shadix posted two aces, a block and five kills for the Lady Warriors while her teammate on the front row, Josie Huckaby, added three blocks and three kills of her own. Shadix racked up another six kills and another ace in the second set, and Molly Pendley also stood out with an ace and three kills in the 25-18 win for West Point. Cold Springs’ Emma Chambers collected two blocks and three kills in the first set, while Kylon Hamby led the way for the Lady Eagles in the second set with three kills

West Point struggled in its first set against the Lady Eagles of Sumiton Christian and fell 25-20 despite an impressive five blocks and six kills from Shadix around the net. The Lady Warriors turned things around in the second set, thanks in large part to another seven kills from Shadix to go along with four kills from Huckaby. The third set was a one-sided affair. Shadix collected four more kills and Selena Clark came up big with three aces in the dominant 15-4 win.

After the win over Sumiton Christian, Lady Warriors Head Coach Regina Jones touched on her team’s performance and the mindset at this early point in the season.

“We made a lot of errors in that first game, and we’ve just got to learn to stay focused. I was proud of them for coming back and cleaning up some of the mistakes we made in that first set,” Jones said. “We’ve been talking about just trying to play every point out there and not take any breaks. We’re just really working on staying focused in practice and playing every point of every match.”

Cold Springs and Sumiton Christian faced off for the final match of the evening and the Lady Eagles in white came out on top. Aubrey Negron posted two blocks and two kills in the first set and Emi Harbison added an ace, two blocks and a kill in Cold Springs’ 25-18 win. Cold Springs fell behind early in the second set and even trailed 18-12 at one point. Thanks in large part to five kills from Kylon Hamby and four more from Anna Kate Voce, the Lady Eagles of Cold Springs stormed all the way back to win the set, 25-20, and the match, 2-0.

Cold Springs Head Coach Cantrice Voce reflected on how his team performed in the home-opener and the biggest focus for them this season.

“The biggest thing for our team right now is learning to play together, but I think we have a chance to have a really good team this season. Aubrey (Negron) and Kinley (Campbell) both start, and this is their first year to play volleyball,” Voce said. “So, there’s still a learning curve for them as far as knowing where to be and when to be there. I think that was seen a lot in that first match with West Point. They have a really good team this year; Coach Jones does a tremendous job with them and we hung in there with them for both sets. We’d let them go on a four-, five- or six-point run, and you can’t do that when you’re playing good teams, but overall, I thought our effort was there. It’s just about learning where to be where you’re supposed to be.”

After the comeback win over Sumiton Christian, Voce talked about picking up that big win and how it plays into his team’s goals for 2018.

“That second game was a really good win for us. Sumiton has a really good ball club, and they’re a team that I expect will be in Regionals in 2A and that’s where I want to be. Our goal this year is to make it back to Huntsville. We’ve been lucky enough to get there the last few years and we want to go back with an opportunity to go to State, and they’re a team we’ll have to face to get there.”

The Cold Springs Lady Eagles will be back in action Sept. 10 when they host West End and the Lady Warriors will be back on the floor at home on the 10th for a tri-match with Curry and Cordova.

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