BRIDGEPORT - When it comes to volleyball games in the Ohio Valley, you'd be hard pressed to find one better than the one that unfolded Tuesday evening inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium at Bridgeport High School.
Bridgeport hosted Union Local, the Bulldogs and Jets complimented each other well matching up for a four-set dandy with the Jets prevailing 25-18, 17-25, 25-21 and 26-24.
The Jets avoided a fifth set by rallying late in the fourth but there was little certainty on either bench as to the final outcome.
Bridgeport defender Alysa Crook (7) gets above the mesh for a block attempt as Union Local’s Mikayla Patton tips the ball back across the divider. Patton led all players at the net with 13 kills as the Jets stayed perfect, winning the match in four sets. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
UL won the first set 25-18 but Bridgeport bounced back and handily evened the match with its own 25-17 win.
The next set was a back-and-forth battle with the Jets moving ahead to a 20-17 advantage. Bridgeport came battling back to knot it at 20 but rotated out some power hitting at the critical juncture and fell into a 2-1 hole, 25-21.
There was no let down in the fourth as the two battled from a 15-all deadlock to 20 apiece, then 23 apiece and finally locked up at 24 before the Jets were able to put together a pair of successful volleys to clinch the win and improve to 2-0.
"It was a great volleyball game ... hotly contested," Bridgeport head coach Ron Kelly said. "Both sides played well. We had some trouble with our passing early. We got that straightened out but just came up short tonight."
"Bridgeport covers the floor as well as any team you will see," Union Local head coach Karl Penz complimented his opponents. "That black hole you usually see in the middle of the court, it just wasn't there. We threw everything we had at them and they were just digging it up."
The Jets moved their target into the back court and found some success. Mikayla Patton was launching some missles from her outside post notching, 13 kills for Union Local. Katie Bashline dropped in 10 kills of her won. Madie Schafer set 14 in the assist column and Cortney Otto was a wall sending back 20 volleys with blocks.
Topping the Bridgeport state sheet was Amber Millard with 14 digs. Hannah Lewis dug up nine, Vanessa Stanton sent eight back skyward and Cheyenne Flowers chipped in seven digs. Millard also paced the Bulldogs with six kills, Maclaine Murad set 11 assists and led the way with 18 points on eight aces.
Bridgeport (1-2) is back in action this evening with a 5 p.m. start as they host Steubenville Catholic Central, while Union Local will travel to Edison Thursday.
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