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A double-hit on a passing attempt is arguably considered a minor violation, but repeated calls of the infraction took a major toll on the host Beddingfield High varsity volleyball team in a 3-0 Senior Night loss to 2-A Eastern Plains Conference rival Farmville Central on Tuesday.
Down 2-0 in the opening set, the Lady Jaguars retaliated with 14 unanswered points and proceeded to a 25-13, 25-19, 25-19 conquest of Beddingfield and registered a sweep of the home-and-away series.
In the final home appearance for seniors Kaitlin Abrams, Rachel Rodgers, Kaniya Thomas and TiTyonna Murray, the Lady Bruins stumbled to 1-8 in the conference and to 8-11 overall. Beddingfield ends the regular season with a conference rematch at SouthWest Edgecombe on Thursday.
Farmville Central improved to 6-2 and 7-10, respectively, with conference tests remaining Wednesday and Thursday.
Nineteen double-hits were whistled and most occurred in the opening set. A flurry of double-hits marked the 14-0 Lady Jaguars’ stretch. That’s when senior Grayson Fields served for 14 of her 18 points.
Farmville Central head coach Ashlee Langston reported the lead official cautioned both Beddingfield head coach Kelly Vinson and herself that ball-handling was a top priority and that he would call double-hits. Both Langston and Vinson credited the official with accurate calls, but reasoned the catch is the fact that a lot of officials seldom call a double-hit.
“It was hard to get into a back-and-forth game, into a flow,” contended Vinson. “But I am proud of the girls for fighting through that.”
Added Abrams, a team captain: “The double-hits really caused problems for us. We did some things well, but the double hits got us down, got us frustrated.”
The Lady Jaguars ruled the opening set behind Fields’ serving and the heady play of junior Ivy Hood. A Beddingfield service error ended the set.
With Abrams busy with serve-receiving and digging, the Lady Bruins spurted to 3-1, 7-3 and 10-5 margins in the second set. Effective work up front from sophomore Lauryn Pitt and senior Diantynese Williams enabled Farmville Central to rally to 11-11, 12-12 and 13-13 ties. The Lady Bruins climbed from a 17-13 hole to produce 18-18 and 19-19 ties. But Beddingfield errors were prominent in the Lady Jaguars’ set-ending 6-0 run.
Abrams, described by Vinson as her “rock for the last four years,” struggled with three miscues.
“I was a little tired tired and frustrated because I had missed my serve,” Abrams explained. “But I tried not to let it bother me the next set.”
But the third set is when the Lady Jaguars turned the athletic, hard-hitting Pitt loose. The set showcased Pitt and Williams at the net against Lady Bruins’ 6-foot-4 junior Makayla Everette.
After 10-10 and 11-11 deadlocks, Farmvillle Central forged out front for keeps at 14-11. The lead widened to 16-12 and 21-16. A hit each from Pitt and Williams ended the match.
“We would like to turn her loose all the time,” said the grinning Langston of Pitt. “But, sometimes, she decides when to turn herself loose — like when she’s ready to go home or thinks we have been playing too long. But the big thing we’ve been working on is consistency and making sure they play at a high level and not in spurts.”
Langston assured the big first-set lead deemed spurts of inconnsistency more tolerable.
“We still could have done better,” she assessed. “But, overall, we’re happy with the effort. When we are controlling the tempo and serve, it works really well for us. Once we built the big lead, the small setbacks are not as big a deal.”
Pitt finished with 10 kills and seven digs. Williams supplied nine kills and Hood six. Fields notched 12 assists.
Beddingfield stats were partial with Everette managing five kills and five blocks and Abrams scrambling for six digs. The home finale for the seniors didn’t meet expectations.
“I expected us to come out and play a little harder,” Abrams admitted. “We couldn’t hit the ball in and couldn’t get passes. It’s disappointing. We are capable of so much, but can’t bring it to the game.”