CRESTVIEW — Halfway through the 2012 season, the Crestview volleyball team is still making strides and growing under second-year coach Kathy Combest.
Nothing is coming easy to the Bulldogs, and Combest knows they must battle for every win.
Combest also understands that volleyball’s most basic principal is that you win with defense.
“We have been really working hard (on defense) and trying to get them where they need to be,” Combest said. “I kept saying, ‘Until we get that defense right, we are not going to run our offense.’ We have been working defense, defense, defense.
“I’m not saying we haven’t worked on our offense, but it has to be here on defense first and we have to be confident.
The Crestview defense was on display, as was the offense Monday night, as the Bulldogs swept Navarre 25-15, 25-17 and 25-23.
Crestview’s defense was on display as Haleigh Hollinhead, Kerrie York and Brittany Pase each had double-digit blocks and Molly Woodward double-digit digs. Hollinhead finished the night with 14 blocks, York had 13 and Pase 10. Woodward had 11 digs.
Malia Gandy just missed recording double-digit blocks as she finished the match with nine.
The Bulldog offense showed up in 22 kills by Jasmine Middleton, nine kills by Hollinhead, 19 assists from Jackie Hanners and 17 assists from Molly Kitchen.
Things were nip-and-tuck in the first set, with the score tied 9-9, before Crestview (6-5) took control of things.
A kill by Middleton gave Crestview a 10-9 lead. A Pase kill followed Middleton’s kill, and the Bulldogs were off and running on a 16-6 run that gave them the set.
Middleton proved to be too much for the Raiders to handle in the second set as she slammed down eight kills and was responsible for nine of the 25 Bulldog points in the set.
The set was tied 13-13 when a Raider serving error gave the Bulldogs the lead at 14-13 and the serve. A Middleton kill put Crestview in front for good.
In the early going, the third set followed a similar pattern to the second set as the teams were tied 12-12. Ultimately, a Gandy kill gave Crestview the lead. Hollinhead had three kills in an 8-2 Bulldogs run, but the Raiders wouldn’t go away as they pulled to within a point at 23-22.
The set and match ended as Pase recorded her 11th kill of the night to seal the win for Crestview.
“Every game we win is something we achieve,” Combest said. “Nothing is going to be given to us. We are going to have to fight and scratch the whole way.
“This is a building process at Crestview.”