Prep Volleyball: Burgin tops Lincoln County 3-1
Burgin¿s Emilee Hurt (22) blocks a hit from Lincoln County¿s Ciara Saylor in the second game of the Bulldogs¿ 3-1 win over the host Patriots as Taylor Sanders helps. Hurt had four kills and Saylor had five kills and three aces. (Hal Morris / August 24, 2012)
But the Burgin coach thought the Bulldogs showed her just as much by how they ended it.
Burgin won the first two sets over the Patriots, dropped the third, then rallied to pull out a 25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19 win.
“We lately have had a tendency to come out with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of aggression and we’re playing smart, we’re playing strong. And I think that’s how the first two games seemed to go,”¿McKnight said. “The third game, we tried running some things that were very new, we’d been working on them in practice wanted to see how they worked out. I saw a lot of positive growth, but at the same time it put us in a hole we couldn’t battle back from.”
After the Patriots won that third set, they appeared to be on their way to forcing a fifth game when Burgin began its comeback.
Two straight aces by Breyanna Hoover, who had three, pushed the Lincoln lead to 13-9.
Libby Dismeaux’s kill made it 13-10, then Savannah Caldwell served four straight points to put the Bulldogs back up 14-13. Burgin never lost the lead again, although the scored was tied two more times. Up 20-19, Randi Burke pushed a shot over the net which found the floor to give the serve back to Burgin. From there, Liz Marcinek had two aces, including the game-winner, and Burke had a block for a point for Burgin (5-5). Marcinek finished with seven kills and two aces.
“I really encouraged them to focus on controlling the ball on our side of the court,”¿McKnight said of the fourth set. “Controlling their bodies means controlling the ball, so we had to focus on passing and serving, because the other team has no control over our passes or serves. When we maintain strong passing and serving, then it sets us up for running the offense and getting the kills we want.”
Lincoln coach Amanda Massey-Wiles said she was proud the Patriots (2-3) were able to fight back to force a fourth set, but said the fight took a lot out of her squad.
“That’s something that we’re really proud of. We knew what we have fundamentally, we know what we have as a team. So it was something it was something we focused on the entire match to push to continue to drive and push the offense and make that comeback,” she said. “And our girls never did give up, and that’s something we’re really proud of.
“If we had a better start, the match may have come out differently. We hope to work this weekend on defense, on coming out to a better start, playing more intense. That way we don’t have to work so hard later in the match.”
The Bulldogs were making it look easy the first two sets.
It was 4-4 in the first when Burgin scored seven of the next eight points, with Taylor Sanders serving for two aces and Marcinek getting a kill. Up 11-7, Burgin scored six straight points, getting a kills from Dismeaux, an ace from Oliva May and another kill from Marcinek, who capped the run by dinking a ball over the reach of Lincoln’s 6 foot, 2 inch Arienne Stephens. A kill from Burke made it 18-8 and Lincoln never got closer than seven points.
Burgin, which fell to Lincoln in last year’s 12th Region Tournament, opened the second set on a 9-1 run, with two aces from Sanders, a block for a point from Emilee Hurt and a kill from Marcinek. With Burgin up 15-7, Lincoln mounted a mini-run of its own. Hoover served an ace and Samantha Douglas had a kill to get it 15-12. Burgin opened up another lead, and Lincoln got within 19-15 on Ciara Saylor’s kill before Burgin scored six of the final eight points to go up 2-0.
Lincoln made the big rally to win the third set and keep the match alive.
Burgin ripped off six straight points to go up 18-11, but the Bulldogs mishit on two straight points, then Saylor slammed home a kill and Douglas served an ace to make it 18-15. Hurt’s kill made it 22-18 Burgin, but Lincoln took control from there.
A kill from Stephens made it 23-22 and got the Patriots the serve back. Kendra Mullins the served the final three points to give Lincoln the win.
Burke had seven kills for Burgin, Dismeaux had six and Sanders and Hurt had four kills apiece. Sanders also had six aces.
For Lincoln, Saylor finished with five kills and three aces, Stephens had three kills and Douglas had four aces with a kill.