The Blythewood Lady Bengals played host to their nearby rivals from Ridge View on Tuesday night in a battle of Region 4-4A teams. Blythewood went into the match undefeated in the region, while Ridge View’s Blazers were hoping to add another win to their 2-2 region record. The Blazers played inspired volleyball, but when the serves and spikes settled Blythewood had come out on top.
The match began with the teams feeling each other out. Neither could seem to find an offensive rhythm and the score stayed close until Blythewood’s Murphye Williams went back to serve. The senior stung Ridge View with several aces and the Lady Bengals were able to create some separation, taking a seven-point lead. A few moments later Blythewood ran off another succession of points behind the serves of senior setter Caleen Hawkins. The Bengals walked away to a 25-11 game one win, and it looked as if they might cruise through the match.
But the tide shifted in game two, and Ridge View was able to return the favor. Blazer victories this season have also been punctuated with good serving, and in this game they were able to record eight aces of their own. Ridge View also played their best defense of the night in this game, with several digs that prevented Blythewood spikes from finding the floor. Their scrappy play combined with multiple hitting errors from Blythewood gave the Blazers the edge they needed. Ridge View took game two 25-17.
In game three Blythewood righted their ship, and in some ways this game was a carbon copy of game one. The Lady Bengals committed very few errors, and once again benefited as Ridge View struggled with the serving of Williams and Hawkins. To add to the Blazer woes, Blythewood’s hitters also came alive. Hawkins had 10 of her match-high 33 assists in this game, getting multiple kills from senior Andrea Keesee and freshman middle Meredith Jones. Blythewood was victorious in game three, winning 25-16.
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Game four was the most competitive of the night. The teams had a momentum tug of war with the Blazers trying to force a game five and the Bengals trying to end the contest. Blythewood continued to pound the ball, getting kills from middle hitter Courtney Williams. The Bengals picked up their level of play on defense as well. Libero Courtney Person recorded 8 digs in this game, finishing with 20 for the match. With the score knotted at 19, Hawkins went back to Keesee. The outside hitter responded, finishing her night with 14 kills and helping Blythewood to close things out with a 25-20 win.
The Bengals move to 5-0 in the region, 19-5 overall, while Ridge View dropped to 2-3 in the region, 10-6 overall.