Storming back from an eight-point deficit in the final set, the Edmond Memorial Bulldogs varsity volleyball team ended their three-game losing streak as they defeated the Stillwater Pioneers, 3-1, Thursday night at Edmond Memorial Gymnasium.
“They played together, they worked hard, they believed in themselves and we were hitting really well towards the end,” said Edmond Memorial head coach Natalie Murray.
Memorial came out red hot as their defense held Stillwater to nine points in the first set, five of which the Pioneers didn’t earn as they scored on Bulldog mishaps. During the set, the Bulldogs would not allow the Pioneers to get into a rhythm as they held Stillwater’s score streak to two.
“I think the girls were just really excited,” Murray said. “Stillwater was the team that knocked us out of the state tournament last year so when we started this match they were really hungry for vengeance. Stillwater’s an amazing program so that was a big win for us.”
In the second set, Stillwater came out ready to prove themselves as an “amazing program” as they attacked the ball more, forcing a more competitive set that would feature eight ties total. The Pioneers would win 25-23. The Bulldogs served into the net or out-of-bounds five times.
The third set was just as close of a battle as there was again eight ties.
Annie Davis forced the final tie of the set at 13 and from there the Bulldogs went on a run in which the Pioneers would not be able to recover. A final kill from Chandler Wint secured the 25-18 set win.
As the Bulldogs got off to a slow start in the fourth set, Stillwater took a commanding point margin led by Lauren Phillips, Sam Sanchez, and Kenzie Vilade.
Memorial then countered with a run until a rotation error briefly halted it. The server for which the Bulldogs gained a point from was not the correct server, resulting in Stillwater gaining a point and Memorial’s taken away.
The Bulldogs, however, would not let the error discourage them. Even as Stillwater pushed the lead to 20-12, the Bulldogs forced another run eventually tying it at 21 and then taking a 22-21 lead. With the score at 24-22 Stillwater’s Vilade and Sanchez would score two to tie it at 24. But then, Regan Pendleton earned a kill and Wint again finished the set with a kill of her own giving the Bulldogs a final 26-24 final set.
Davis had a big performance in the fourth set as she recorded four kills, two of which kept the Bulldogs run going.
“Well she’s a superstar,” Murray said. “I mean to me she does things that no human can do. But it was just really exciting to watch her shine.”
Edmond Memorial improved to an even 3-3 on the season, with the win, and will battle the Southmoore SaberCats next week at home.