CRESTVIEW — Nobody could have blamed the Crestview High School volleyball team for being distracted in the District 1-7A match with Navarre on Tuesday.
Moments before the varsity squads were to take the floor a parent of one of the Bulldog players was taken from the gym on a stretcher. But rather than wilt the Bulldogs rose to the occasion to take a four-set win from the Raiders by scores of 25-16, 25-9, 18-25, 25-12.
Bulldog coach Kathy Combest was short on answers on how the Bulldogs came out with win.
"I don't know what the key was because we got all miscombobulated because Molly Kitchen's mom got sick," Combest said. "She's (Molly) our main setter and one of our outside hitters. We had to throw a back row player on the front row, a front row player on the back row to set and play front row. I was just happy we made it."
With Kitchen out of the lineup Combest moved Nicole Lefevre into Kitchen's role and Recie Brown took over the front row position Lefevre usually plays. All things considered the makeshift lineup looked anything but makeshift.
The Bulldogs (15-4, 3-3) didn't look out of synch early in the match. Crestview spotted Navarre three quick points in the first set before going on a 9-0 run to quickly take control of things.
Brittany Pase started things started for the Bulldogs with a kill. The Crestview scoring run ended with Jasmine Middleton kill.
Navarre scored back-to-back points on an unforced error by the Bulldogs and an ace by Monica Foster to get to within four points to get the lead to 9-5.
The score was 10-6 after a Jordyn York kill for the Raiders. A Foster kill later capped a 7-4 Raider run that pulled Navarre to within two points of the Bulldogs.
But a pair of Raider errors and a Pase kill quickly put the set out of reach.
The second set was all Crestview as Pase opened with an ace as the Bulldogs took an early 2-1 lead. A 12-1 run extended the Crestview lead to 14-2 as the Bulldogs rolled on to move in front 2-0.
The Raiders rallied in the third set to extend the match another set. Kierra Foster had a couple of quick kills to help Navarre to a 6-1 lead.
Crestview fought back to close the Raider lead to 8-6, but Emma Belmain delivered a pair of aces to push the lead back to 10-4.
Whenever the Bulldogs rallied Navarre answered with a rally of its own to keep the set in hand.
The teams traded points early in the fourth set before Pase took over for the Bulldogs. With Navarre leading 5-4 Pase nailed a kill to tie the set at 5-5.
Crestview freshman Kierra Potts followed with a kill of her own that was sandwiched between another kill by Pase.
A third Pase kill in a six-point stretch put Crestview up 10-5 and the Bulldogs were off and running with the win.
Crestview also won the freshman and junior varsity matches.
The Bulldogs return to play on Monday when they host Freeport on Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.