CRESTVIEW — It was a rare doubleheader for the Crestview High School varsity volleyball team Tuesday evening.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Escambia and had no problem disposing of the Gators in straight sets by scores of 25-7, 25-5, 25-3.
And then the twist: an unscheduled match was played against District 1-7A foe Tate. The Aggies showed up early for a match scheduled for Oct. 3.
So after making short work of Escambia the Bulldogs turned around and took on a much stronger Tate squad.
Crestview spotted the Aggies the first set before pulling away to a 3-1 to improve to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in district play. Set scores were 23-25, 25-20, 25-11, 25-18.
“We were supposed to play them (Tate) Oct. 3 instead of Sept. 3, and she (Tate coach Erika Burkett) checked the website and saw we were playing Escambia, but she never called me,” Bulldog coach Kathy Combest said.
The Gators never challenged the Bulldogs in the first match.
Escambia led 2-1 in the opening moments of the first set before a score from Brittany Pase tied the match at 2-2.
A Gator rotation violation put Crestview in front 3-2 and the Bulldogs were off and running on the way to the first set win.
An Escambia serving error to open the second set gave the Bulldogs a lead they would never relinquish. Crestview reeled off four more points with Macie Adams in serve to increase the lead to 5-0 before the Gators finally scored.
Only once in the set was Escambia able to score back-to-back points as Crestview coasted to the win.
It was more of the same in the final set. The Bulldogs opened a quick 6-0 lead with Adams in serve and never looked back.
Pase and Jasmine Middleton led the Bulldog attack with five kills each. Nicole Lefevre and Kierra Potts each had two kills. Adams and Molly Kitchen had two aces each.
The Aggies proved to be a tougher test than Escambia.
Tate used a quick attack at the net in taking the first set.
However, once the Bulldog players adjusted to the faster Aggie tempo, Crestview (5-0, 1-0) was able to swing things in its favor.
“We came out flat in the first game and we just had to pick it up,” Combest said. “I was glad to see them coming back and really getting down (to business against Tate).”
Adams led an early charge in serve as the Bulldogs opened the second set with a 7-0 run. A Middleton kill put an exclamation point on the outburst and Crestview.
But Tate refused to go away as the Aggies battled back to tie the set a 13-13 and again at 16-16. Three quick Bulldog points pushed the Crestview lead to 19-16.
Crestview finally put the set away on back-to-back kills by Middleton and Pase.
The Bulldogs jumped to a 9-1 lead in the third set and were never challenged as they pulled away to the easiest win of the match.
The Aggies refused to go quietly into the night though in the fourth set, as they tried to force a fifth and deciding set.
Tate led 4-3 early in the set, but a Pase kill tied things up. A Bulldog serving error allowed Tate to tie the set at 5-5.
Once again, Pase responded with a pair of kills that put the Bulldogs in front once and for all.
“They (Tate) did some things and showed me some things we need to work on; letting balls fall that we should get because we just stand and watch,” Combest said. “I think if you can watch a ball hit, you can get a ball up.”
Unofficially, Pase had 16 kills against the Aggies. Middleton added seven kills and Marisa Rogers had two kills.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.