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Eastside wins tri-match, Alcovy picks up first win
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Cross-town rivals Newton and Eastside got together on the volleyball court Tuesday for the first time in 2008 to decide early season bragging rights.

The Lady Eagles won 22-25, 25-21, 25-19 in dramatic fashion with a third game comeback, over the Lady Rams Rams.

"It was a great win for us," Eastside coach Angie Lewis said. "It's great to play these kinds of matches early in the season to see how our team will perform."

In the first game of the match, the Lady Rams looked to be an early favorite as solid play from Salina Xiong and April Lo kept them in the game. Receiving big kills from the two and a crucial ace from Xiong, the Lady Rams took a one game lead heading into game two.

In the second game, the Lady Eagles looked to be more poised. Led by the terrific play of freshmen Katie Johnston and her two kills, the Eagles were able to rally back from being down 15-11 to win 25-21.

In the third and deciding match, both teams brought their best game.

Taking an early 8-2 lead, the Lady Eagles found momentum in when Johnston served two straight aces.

Deciding not to be outdone by their in county rival, Newton's Alia Griffith gathered two of her own aces in route to a six point swing that tied the game.

From there, both teams seemed to be playing checkers as neither team was able to grab any sort of advantage.

Trading point for point, the two teams found themselves in a battle as the score was 18-19 with the game riding on the line.

With only six points left to win the game, the Eagles sent Antonia Mullins to the service line to bring home the victory.

Mullins gave Eastside an 23-18 advantage after she won four straight points including an ace and forced Newton to call a timeout. Still unable to get things going, the Rams fell to the Eagles 19-25.

Even though Eastside claimed victory, Lewis knows her team left many points on the table.

"Newton got the ball back over a lot more then we predicted," Lewis said. "We were out of position and gave them a lot of points."

When asked about her two star performers Johnston and Mullins, Lewis had plenty of praise.

"They are both great players and great net players," Lewis said. "Mullins blocks don't always result in points for us, but her playing is intimidating to the other team. As for Johnston, she played so well and brings this excitement to the game"

In previous action, the Lady Rams dropped straight games to Apalachee, 14-25 and 18-25.

Lo led the way for Newton with two aces and a kill, Xiong with two kills and Kayla Bunch with two kills.

In the Eastside versus Apalachee match, the Lady Eagles prevailed in three sets by the scores of 25-23, 14-25, and 25-22.

Led by Johnston and her six aces, six kills and one block, the Lady Eagles were able to complete the tri-team sweep.

"It's a lot of fun to win," Johnston said. "We started of rocky and fell in the second game, but we started talking and coming together and were able to win. We weren't going to let them beat us in our house."

Alcovy picks up first

win in quad-match at Ola

The Lady Tigers picked up their first win of the season Tuesday against Banneker at a regional quad-match at Ola.

Alcovy started slowly against Ola, dropping its first two games 8-25 and 9-25. The Lady Tigers recovered in the second match against Stockbridge and Kaley Johnson served seven straight points, but it wasn't enough as they eventually fell in straight games 16-25 and 20-25.

"Ola has great attackers and our defense isn't there yet," Alcovy coach Amanda Briggs said. "But we played the other two teams well. Sometimes is just about putting the ball over the net."

Briggs felt her team responded well during Stockbridge and said the loss came down to a few costly mistakes.

"I feel like we were more evenly matched against Stockbridge and I was pleased with the way we played, especially in the second game," she said.

Alcovy finally dialed in victory in its third match as they defeated Banneker 25-22 and 26-24. Briggs said her team fought off six straight game points in the second game to come back and secure victory.

"Kaley ended the second game with nine great serves and Holly (Oakes) had three great saves," Briggs said. "When they got down, it showed me they have some desire and grit."

Alcovy's first win is satisfying. After a slow start, Briggs hopes her team will continue to build of its success.

"It takes some pressure off to have our first win under our belt," She said. "It helps to know they can do it and especially after coming from being so far down. I hope now they know how to win and it will help as we get further into region play."

Sports Editor Josh Briggs contributed to this story.