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Posted: September 17, 2013 7:23 p.m.

War Eagles blank Eastside

Matt Smith/

Eastside's Amanda Bolen sends a serve over the top of Chestatee's defense on Tuesday afternoon in the Eagles' loss to the War Eagles.

The Eastside Eagles varsity volleyball team dropped a 2-0 decision to region-rival Chestatee Tuesday at home.

The War Eagles blanked Eastside 26-24, 25-17 in straight sets.

The Eagles held a commanding 23-19 lead late in the first set, but Eastside was unable to hold off a late Chestatee rally.

Eastside coach Michael Gerald said that his team's youth showed itself in the first set against the War Eagles.

"It's been the story of our season to this point," Gerald said. "We just don't have enough experience to hold off teams. They're going out there and playing hard and putting forth a lot of effort, but we just haven't put it all together yet.

"We need a player to understand that when you're close like that, you have to go out there and finish it," he said. "We will get there. It's going to take some time for them to get that mentality."

Eastside and the War Eagles traded points to start the first set, but Chestatee rallied for four points behind two Eastside hitting errors and a kill from Grace Brown.

The Eagles rallied back to tie the contest at 14-14, using a pair of aces from Breanna Thornton and a block from Kendall Denney to match Chestatee. Thornton finished her run at the service line with nine service points, giving Eastside a 19-14 advantage with a final ace to end her scoring outburst.

The two teams again traded points until the Eagles took a 23-19 lead. Despite Eastside controlling the match, Chestatee responded to the Eagles' run, outscoring Eastside 7-1 to close the game. The War Eagles used a pair of kills from Tyler Bennett and an Eagles' hitting error to complete the comeback.

In the second set, the War Eagles had an easier time with Eastside, marching out to a 12-4 advantage to open the game.

Myla Canty recorded a kill during the early run, but the War Eagles' offense rolled to an 8-point lead.

Eastside cut the War Eagles' lead to 17-14 after a Kolyse Wagstaff kill and a Thornton ace, but Chestatee's early onslaught was too much to overcome. Chestatee outscored the Eagles 8-3 to hold on for the 25-17 win.

Thornton finished with 12 service points and four aces to lead the Eagles.

The Eagles return to action Thursday when they travel to Apalachee to take on the Wildcats and Gainesville.

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