Newman def. St. Bede 25-20, 25-13
STERLING – The Newman volleyball team found itself in a nip-and-tuck first set, but pulled out that one and later cruised in the second set to a 25-20, 25-13 win over St. Bede Tuesday.
The first set saw St. Bede take a 7-5 lead off back-to-back hitting errors before Newman reclaimed the lead, but the Bruins kept it fairly close throughout.
The second set saw the Comets jump out to an 18-9 lead, with many of the Bruins’ points coming on Newman errors.
“We just needed to pick up the momentum and work together,” said Newman junior Aidan Brown, who had 14 kills and five digs. “We had a little falling out in the beginning, but we brought it back together.”
Newman improved to 7-3 overall and 3-0 in the TRAC East, handing the Lady Bruins their first conference loss.
Up 19-11, Newman scored five straight points. St. Bede scored the next two points to stave off defeat for a moment, but Aidan Brown finished the set with a kill.
“We didn’t block her well enough,” St. Bede coach Karrie Damerell said. “We’ve got to find a way to get a touch on the ball and close up the block.”
Early in the first set, neither team could muster much of a lead as the score remained within two points either way until Newman took a 13-9 lead on the strength of back-to-back Bruins errors.
“Defensively, I thought we played well the first set,” Damerell said. “I thought our hitters were having more contact with the ball first set than second set. Credit to Newman, I thought they played well. … Second set, defensively, I thought we just weren’t there.”
St. Bede (9-2, 2-1 TRAC) got two kills from Hallie McGuire to close within three points, but more hitting errors and violations kept Newman in front. The Bruins got within one point, down 17-16 after a Newman error, then committed back-to-back errors themselves. Newman put things away late in the set thanks to back-to-back Macaire Brown kills and a kill from Sanders.
“The girls did a nice job of spreading the ball around using all the different players on the court,” Newman coach Debbi Kelly said. “We ran some different combination plays that seemed to work, and they did a nice job staying defensive and not getting too worked up if [St. Bede] got a sideout, just focused on the next point.”