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Eastside volleyball wins seven straight matches
Kaitlyn Green serves for the Eagles against the Rockdale Bulldogs. - photo by Mariya Lewter

The Eastside volleyball team continued its winning streak Thursday with two back-to-back wins. The Eagles went 2-0 against the Rockdale Bulldogs before pulling off a comeback against the Lovejoy Wildcats to take home a 2-1 victory.

The Eagles took the first set against Rockdale easily, beating the Bulldogs 25-9. But it was the second set that really put them on their toes. Down 20-8, Rockdale twice to cut the lead to 10. Eastside answered with two more points of its own, but a 3-0 run by the Bulldogs prompted Eastside head coach Maggie Johnston to call a timeout.

“I called it just to stop the momentum from Rockdale, and I just told them to take care of business and not give the team any hope of winning,” she said.

Following the timeout, Rockdale continued to fight its way back into the game, scoring six of the next eight points to cut the lead to four before the Eagles finally ended the set with a 25-20 win.

“Our serves were definitely key to getting in the game early in the first set,” Johnston said. “We kept our serves in, and they were to good spots, and the other team got it out of system.”

Eastside then tried to carry the momentum into its match against Lovejoy, taking an early 3-0 lead against the Wildcats. The teams then tied several times as Lovejoy got itself back into the game. With the score tied 10-10, Eastside’s Chasity Smith gave the Eagles back the lead with a kill, but the Wildcats then answered with three straight points to go up 13-11.

The Eagles continued to stay in the game, as the score tied three more times, but the Wildcats closed out the set on a 5-0 run to win 25-19.

The Eagles came alive in the second set, starting the set with seven straight points, five of which were aces by Cirsten Boyd. However, the Wildcats refused to go away, coming back with six straight points of their own to cut the lead to one.

The set turned into a game of runs, as the Eagles scored four in a row for a 11-6 before Lovejoy came back with three straight to cut the lead once more. Another 6-0 run by the Eagles finally gave them the cushion they needed with a 18-11 lead, and they held the Wildcats to just three more points in the remainder of the set to win 25-14 and tie the match 1-1.

Eastside once again got off to a quick start in the final set, going up 7-2 after an ace by Carrington King. The Wildcats then began to pack on the service errors, giving the Eagles several easy points. Lovejoy cut Eastside’s lead to two at 17-15, but the Eagles closed out the set on a 8-4 run to win the match 2-1.

“We got our serving under control,” said Johnston on the key to the comeback win. “They had a lot of errors on servicing, which helped us out a lot. Our serving was tremendous. We had a lot of aces in that game, and just coming out energized. We were really slow the first set. We came back energized, realizing that we needed to work a little harder to get the win.”

Smith proved to be Eastside key player Thursday night, notching six kills and three blocks on the night. Even when she didn’t score, she made her presence known on the floor with 18 overall attacks.

“She dominated the front row,” Johnston said. “She was all over the place she took care of business defensively with the block, as well as offensively with getting a lot of kills.”

The Eagles have now won seven-straight games, with three of which being region wins against Henry County, Salem and Druid Hills.

“Right now it’s all about area, so we’re just trying to improve and tweak the small things so we can improve ourselves for our area and finish out ahead there,” Johnston said.

The Eagles return to action Tuesday, Sept. 27 to take on North Clayton and Woodward Academy at North Clayton High School starting at 5:30 p.m.