CRESTVIEW – A week away from the start of the District 2=6A volleyball tournament Crestview continued to show an erratic style of play against Tate on Monday that at times was frustrating and other times promising. The one thing the Bulldogs were not is consistent.
Crestview will have to find that consistency if it hopes to make it out of the district tournament that features talented Niceville and Mosley teams.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs they were just good enough to come up with key plays to beat the Aggies in yet another five-set survival match taking the win 3-2 by scores of 25-21, 15-25, 25-22, 16-25, 15-9.
Bulldog coach Kathy Combest was happy with the win, but she saw areas of concern as the team headed down the home stretch of the season.
“Any win is going to help us,” she said. We’ve just got to be more energized and more excited about playing the game. Sometimes I feel like they are only thinking about what they are doing.
“I don’t feel the unity yet, and that is just my feeling. All I want to do is play better. I want to play better consistently, cohesively because when we play we are unstoppable.”
Crestview (10-10) made things look easy in the first set while jumping to a 7-0 lead with Jackie Hanners in serve. The Crestview lead was helped in part by Tate double hits and unforced errors. The seven-point lead was the largest of the set before the Aggies started chipping away at the deficit.
Tate finally got on the scoreboard on a Shani Conoly kill. Slowly, but surely the Aggies inched their way back into the set.
A service ace by Haliegh Hollinhead followed by a Kerrie York block had the Bulldogs in front 19-13 and seemingly ready to cruise to a win in the set, but Tate wasn’t about to go away and the Aggies went on an 8-3 run to pull to within a point of the Bulldogs at 22-21.
Crestview scored on a Tate serving error and Molly Woodward took over in serve for the Bulldogs. An ace by Woodward was followed by an unforced error by the Aggies to give Crestview the win in the set.
A pair of kills by Brittany Pase and a kill by Malia Gandy helped the Bulldogs to jump to a 4-1 lead in the second set, but the remainder of the set had Aggies all over it as Tate cruised to the second set win.
The Bulldogs pulled out another tight win in the third set with Jasmine Middleton hammering home three kills down the stretch. The set ended with a York kill that put the Bulldogs one set away from victory. But the win would have to wait as the Aggies went in attack mode and took the fourth set.
The fifth and deciding set was tied at 7-7 when a block by Gandy and York sparked what turned out to be the decisive 8-2 run to end the match. Pase finished things off with back-to-back kills to end the match.
Middleton led the Crestview offense with 14 kills, seven blocks, six digs and two assists. Molly Kitchen had 12 assists, four digs, four kills and three aces. Hollinhead had 10 blocks, five kills, three digs and one assist.
York topped Crestview with 11 blocks to along with five kills. Gandy had eight blocks and six kills.