Bristol Eastern overcomes slow start to sweep Berlin

Published on Monday, 18 October 2021 21:49
Written by MATT HORNICK

@MNHornick

BRISTOL - The Bristol Eastern volleyball team bounced back from a slow start Monday night against Berlin to pick up its third sweep in a row (25-20, 25-20, 25-17) and improve its record to 12-3 this season.

The Lancers faced an early deficit in the first set, but came back and took control of the match from there. Berlin competed closely with Eastern throughout the first two sets, but failed to bring that energy into the third set. The Redcoats fall to 5-12 this season with three games to go on their schedule.

Eastern won each of the first sets 25-20, but took noticeably different paths to arrive at the same score.

“Our mentality shifted a little bit [after the first set],” Lancers’ head coach Stefanie Reay said. “We were more focused on positives and then we were playing a little more smart.”

Berlin opened the first set by taking a 5-0 lead and succeeded in stopping the Lancers from cutting to the lead. The Redcoats led 15-10 and never let Eastern get within three points of tying the score as it made repeated mistakes that stopped it from holding serve.

The Lancers cleaned up play later in the game and tied the score 19-19 before taking its first lead behind a block from senior Hannah Webber. They went on to win the set 25-20. They closed the opening frame on a 15-5 run to storm ahead and take the first set from Berlin when the Redcoats were playing their best.

“They came out really hot,” Berlin head coach Angela Kumm said. “Then there were times when we went up and didn’t get a serve over or two. That affected us, especially going down the home stretch. We were leading that first set and just didn’t make it happen.”

Eastern started the second set the opposite of the first, leading by as many as six points at the start of the set and playing cleaner than how it opened the match. Berlin did not go away and used an 11-5 run to tie the second set 12-12 when junior Alivia Halkias slipped a serve in between the Lancers’ formation for an ace.

Eastern retook the lead and built it back up by a few points to stay ahead of Redcoats and win the second set with the same score as the first, 25-20.

The third set was all Eastern as it jumped out to an 11-6 lead that grew more from there. The Lancers came together to play their best at the end and complete the sweep and took their only double-digit lead of the day. Junior Lauren Bender stretched the advantage to 20-9 with a hard-hit spike into the ground.

The Redcoats bounced back somewhat from the start of the set as a few mistakes from Eastern sent them on a short run before the match ended. They outscored the Lancers 8-5 at the end of the game, but Eastern only needed those five points to win the set 25-17 and secure the win.

The Lancers take on a big challenge Wednesday in their next match when they travel to Conard (13-1) while the Redcoats will face Wethersfield (6-9) the same day.

BRISTOL EASTERN 3, BERLIN 0

(25-20, 25-20, 25-17)

At Bristol Eastern

Highlights: Hannah Webber (BE) 10 kills, 3 blocks; Julia Paul (B) 5 kills, 3 blocks; Lauren Bender (BE) 11 kills, 3 digs, 2 aces; Alivia Halkias (B) 2 aces, 2 blocks; Abby Jones (BE) 3 aces, 4 digs, 25 assists.

Records: Bristol Eastern 12-3, Berlin 5-12.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Eastern on Monday, 18 October 2021 21:49. Updated: Monday, 18 October 2021 21:51.