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Patriots outlast Rams
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The Newton High School varsity volleyball team dropped a non-region contest to Heritage Tuesday night, falling in straight sets to the Patriots on the road.

Heritage outlasted the Rams 25-20 in the first set before taking the second set 25-13.

The inconsistent Rams hung tough in the first set, but the Patriots' potent offense made quick work of the visiting team in the final game.

"I've seen us play much better," Newton coach Stacey Wells said. "We were inconsistent. We played very well the first game. We weren't on our defense tonight, and we have to continue to work on our blocks and covering the ball."

The Rams and Patriots traded points in the first set before the Patriots broke open a 15-14 advantage. The Patriots rolled off back-to-back points behind blocks from Dafney and London Ligon.

Heritage closed the set on a 10-5 run, clinching the first set 25-20.

In the second set, it was all Patriots, as Heritage quickly tripled up the Rams 6-2. Newton got on the board with an ace from Ja'lynn Cole and a Heritage hitting error, but kills from Adavia Elow and Dafney gave the Patriots a 4-point lead.

Sarah Brackin tallied back-to-back aces for the Patriots to extend Heritage's advantage to 8-3, as Heritage grew its lead to 12-3 before a service error ended the Patriots' run.

Newton trimmed the Patriots' advantage to 12-6 thanks to a Patriots' hitting error and an Abigail Bugg ace, but Brackin recorded four points from the service line to put the Rams away for good.

Brackin's run allowed Heritage to take a 23-12 lead, and the Patriots clinched the win with a Newton hitting error for a 25-13 final.

Dafney had five kills in the final set at the net for Heritage, while Bugg led the Rams with a kill.

"We played pretty well tonight," Heritage coach Julie Kristin said. "We started out pretty slow, but we picked it back up and played well at the net. Brianna Dafney and Mycah Boland had a lot of good hits at the net.

"I also have to give credit to sophomore Sarah Brackin for stepping in and leading at the service line for us," she said.

Newton returns to action Thursday on the road against Eastside.