PREP VOLLEYBALL: Lady Bearcats defeat West Point, Arab in tri-match

The Cullman Bearcats defeated West Point 2-0 to start Thursday's tri-match. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – The Lady Warriors hosted Cullman and Arab for a pair of non-area matchups Thursday night and the Lady Bearcats went home with wins over West Point and the Lady Knights. Cullman edged the Lady Warriors 2-1 in the opening match and then knocked off Arab 2-0 to sweep Thursday’s event. West Point closed out the night with a very close match against the Lady Knights in which Arab edged the Lady Warriors 2-1.

Cullman 2 – West Point 1 (25-22, 16-25, 15-8)

The Lady Warriors squared off against the Lady Bearcats to get things started Thursday and after splitting the first two sets, a tiebreaker set was necessary to settle things between the two of them. Cullman got off to an early 5-1 start in the third set and led things 7-3 as the set progressed. The Lady Bearcats held a 9-5 advantage midway through the final set but pulled away to win it 15-8 and end a West Point win streak.

Kaina Thomas led Cullman with seven kills in the win to go with three blocks and a pair of digs, Ashlen Heatherly collected 12 assists, LG Evans posted four kills, three digs, two assists and a block and Gracie Barksdale finished with four blocks, two kills, two aces and a dig.

Lexi Shadix finished with a game-high 12 kills to go with four blocks and an ace, Molly Pendley added five aces and five kills and Gracie Thompson collected 18 assists, two digs and an ace for the Lady Warriors.

Cullman 2 – Arab 0 (25-22, 25-13)

Cullman jumped out to a 3-0 lead in its first set with Arab, but the Lady Knights managed to tie it up at 6 as the set progressed. With the set tied at 8, the Lady Bearcats used a scoring to move ahead 11-8 and later stretched their lead to 15-9. Arab cut the lead to 16-13 midway through the set, but Cullman managed to pull back ahead 20-14. The Lady Bearcats held off another scoring run from the Lady Knights to take the first set 25-22.

Cullman got off to another fast start in the second set, leading Arab 6-4 but the Lady Knights were able to trim the lead down to 10-9. The Lady Bearcats went on a dominant scoring run after that, going ahead 14-10 and then 18-12 before pulling away to win it 25-13 and taking the match in two sets.

Barskdale picked up six kills, three digs and an ace, Heatherly finished with 10 digs, Thomas added three kills and two digs, Abella Skipper posted four kills, three digs and a block and Ashleigh Drake collected eight digs and three aces in the win.

Arab 2 – West Point 1 (25-22, 27-29, 10-15)

After fending off the Lady Knights and winning a close first set, the Lady Warriors dropped an even tighter second set with Arab to force a third tiebreaker set. The Lady Knights managed to defeat West Point in the tiebreaker set and take the final match of the night 2-1.

Shadix racked up 17 kills along with three blocks, Pendley posted 10 kills, six aces and five assists, Thompson collected 29 assists to go with a dig and Kyla Kilpatrick finished with three kills and an ace in the loss.

Cullman will travel to play Hartselle next Tuesday and West Point will be back home Tuesday for a tri-match against Lawrence County and Holly Pond.

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