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Warriors extend record to 19-1 with sweep of Bridgeport

 

With a large group of students having traveled the 20 or so miles from Bridgeport to Dalton, the battle for the loudest student section at Thursday night's volleyball match was too close to call.

But on their home court the Warriors proved too much for the Class C2 Bulldogs, as they won in three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-12 and 25-20. For Leyton it was their 19th win against just one loss. Bridgeport fell to 9-11.

"I was pretty surprised by the crowd really," said the Warriors senior setter Katy Ernest. "It's not usually this loud but I think when our guys heard their guys they had to give it back to them."

At no point during the night did the Warriors trail. In fact, they were only twice tied - at 1-1 and 2-2 in the opening set.

"I think we're doing things fundamentally well. Our execution is really coming along," said the Warriors Head Coach Jodi Craig.

Though the Warriors soon commanded a 10-5 lead in set one, Bridgeport almost managed to forge the third and fourth ties at 10 and 11. But when Ernerst fed Kelsey Waite for the kill at 11-10, the Warrior stock again began to rise unchecked.

Kaitlyn Berner scored Leyton's next two points. The first came on a block that fell on the Bulldog side of the net. She then took a feed from Ernest that she slammed home for a three-point Leyton lead.

For the rest of the set Bridgeport would never be closer.

"I'm lucky enough that I'm on a team that get's me the ball so consistently," Ernest said. "We all work together. I wouldn't be the setter I am if I didn't have teammates who pass so well."

As she did in all three sets, Kassandra Harris opened up game two for the Warriors at the serve line. Harris's deliveries produced a quick 4-0 lead. A drop shot that landed in the open court started the set which went from Berner-to-Ernest-to-Harris. Waite slammed home point's two and four on set's from Ernest and Shaela Jenkins blocked a point back the other way for the third point.

When Leyton's advantage reached 6-1, Bridgeport called a timeout. At 8-4 Jenkins and Bridgeport's Brooke Schnieder traded lunging digs during a long point the Dogs eventually won. When Bridgeport managed to get within two at 8-6, Harris took another Ernest set and pounded it to uncovered territory in Bridgeport's back court.

After the score reached 17-11 for the home team, Ernest took to the service line. She stayed there until her ace brought the score to 24-11. Though Bridgeport ended the run, Jenkins soon finished the matter with a kill to nowhere land.

Harris opened the final set with an ace and as a famous sportscaster often said, "you could have turned your sets off right there." Though Bridgeport made a strong rally late in the game, Leyton never seemed in real trouble. The Warriors were particularly strong serving in the final set.

The highlights for Leyton during which time it established a 20-8 lead were plentiful. Carly Rushman followed Harris's ace with one of her own during a service run that gave the Warriors five points. At 10-6 Berner fielded a Bridgeport serve. She fed Ernest who fed Waite. Waite cleverly found open ground in the front court for the point.

After losing a point Harris took back the serve at 14-7. She then slammed home a kill to an empty Bridgeport back court. Aimee Hass of the Bulldogs helped keep her team breathing with a couple of nice kills ow her own.

When Leyton's advantage reached its zenith at 20-8, Bridgeport suddenly began to counter punch.

With Bridgeport's Hass at the service line, the Dogs reeled off five points druing a 10-1 exhange in favor of the roadies. But Bridgeport could not get past the 20-point plateau. Waite ended the night with an untouched kill to the Bulldogs back line.

"Since the last game we have been communicating really well," Waite said. "I think our whole team played well. It's hard to play well as an individual when the whole team isn't playing well. It all has to work together and it did tonight."

The Warriors get a break before taking on their next opponent in eight days. They will host Crawford on Fri. Oct. 11, at 3:30 p.m.

 

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